David Powell, his daughter and another 6-year-old girl were injured in a San Diego dog bite incident involving a pit bull. According to a 10News report, the dog attack occurred the morning of August 28, 2011 on Auburn Drive, near Euclid Avenue, in the City Heights area. Powell is not the owner of the dog but he was taking care of it at the time of the attack. The dog escaped its chain, jumped a low fence, and attacked the two 6-year-old girls. One of the girls required stitches because of multiple cuts to her face, arms and fingers. The other girl sustained a bite to the neck, while David Powell was bitten on his hand. Officials are investigating the incident.
My thoughts and prayers are with the three injured victims of this San Diego dog attack. I wish them a complete and speedy recovery.
Pit Bull Attacks
The most comprehensive research on fatal dog bite statistics was conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and it covered a 20-year period. According to the study’s findings, pit bulls and pit bull mixes were linked to about a third of all fatal dog bite attacks in the United States. While many believe that it is the owner and not the breed that makes a dog dangerous, it is important to remember that these dogs are very strong and they have the potential to cause death or serious injury.
The Law Relating to Dog Attacks
Based on this news report, it is not clear why the dog attacked. Under California law, the owner of the dog can be held accountable for any injuries or damages caused. 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.”
In this case, it appears one of the bite victims was watching the dog for its owner. We do not know if the dog was dangerous or if the owner had informed the dog sitter about the dog’s propensity to attack. Officials are also looking into whether Powell, who was watching the dog, should face any charges of negligence.
Injured victims of dog bite accidents may seek financial compensation for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim. Damages that may be covered include medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The cost of cosmetic surgery may also be covered in such cases. Injured dog bite victims would be well-advised to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer, who will better explain their legal rights and options.