An 11-year-old boy suffered a severe mouth wound after a dog attack in Winchester the afternoon of March 29, 2014.
According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the boy was inside the den of a house on Stuber Street playing with friends when the dog lunged at him.
A first attack was blocked with a cue stick, but the 2-year-old female pit bull attacked again, biting the boy in the mouth. He suffered a severe lower lip injury.
Officials say the attack was
sudden and unprovoked. The female pit bull was not fixed and was surrendered to Animal Services for humane euthanasia.
Dog Bites and Children
About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost one in five of those bitten, about 885,000 require medical attention and half of these are children.
In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of dog attacks. Among children, the rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for those between 5 and 9.
Children are also more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites. Studies also show that as the number of dogs in a home increases, the incidence of dog bites also increases.
Liability Issues in Dog Bite Cases
Based on this news report, it is unclear who owned the dog. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners are responsible for injuries their pets cause.
California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
Injured victims of dog bites can seek compensation from the dog owner for damages such as medical expenses, cost of cosmetic surgery, psychological counseling, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Often a dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy covers dog bite incidents as well.
Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside dog bite injury attorney who will fight for their rights and ensure that they are fairly and fully compensated for all their losses.