Two pit bulls are being held by the Los Angeles Animal Services Department after they attacked an elderly man and killed his dog in Lincoln Heights the afternoon of February 2, 2017. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, the pit bulls first killed the man’s small dog, a Pomeranian, and then attacked 76-year-old Valentin Herrera, pushing him to the ground. Herrera’s grandson said he is in the hospital with injuries to his arm and head and is expected to recover after surgery.
Horrific Dog Attack
Christian Flores, the grandson, said his grandfather is diabetic and has dementia. The dogs came through an open gate and attacked the man and his dog, he said. Animal control officials questioned the dog’s owner and took away the two pit bulls. The dogs were taken to an animal shelter where they will be quarantined for 10 days until their fate is determined in a hearing.
Flores said he didn’t believe the dogs should be blamed. But he did say the owner was at fault for how he raised them. Neighbors also told CBS that the dogs have frightened other people before. Animal control officers are also still checking into whether neighbors have registered any previous complaints about these dogs.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Valentin Herrera. We wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Dog Bite Strict Liability Statute
Based on this news report it appears that the pit bulls wandered into Herrera’s yard, attacked his small dog and then turned around and mauled him. Under California law, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages their pets cause. According to California Civil Code Section 3342 (a): “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.”
What Should You Do?
If you have been bitten by a dog, there are a number of steps you can take in order to protect your rights. Try to get as much information as possible about the dog’s owner including insurance and dog licensing details. It would be beneficial to get photos from the scene including images of your injuries. Get contact information for anyone who might have witnessed the dog attack. Secure prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Contact an experienced Los Angeles dog bite lawyer who can help you pursue compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress.