A mother and her 3-year-old son in Vallejo were hospitalized with injuries after three dogs attacked them. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the horrific dog bite incident occurred the night of April 6. Neighbor Dorris Hutcherson told reporters that the dog attack was the worst thing she’d ever seen in her life. When she heard the commotion, Hutcherson looked over her back fence to find the dogs, described as pit bulls, mauling her neighbor who appeared to be fighting for her life.
Serious Injuries Sustained
The mother was attempting to protect her child from the dogs. Hutcherson said her husband tried to bang on a trashcan with a golf club to try and distract the dogs while she called 911. Officers with the Vallejo Police Department used pepper spray and physical force to drive the dogs away from the 47-year-old woman and her child. Both mother and son were transported to a local hospital in stable condition with bites to their heads and arms.
The dogs have been quarantined for 10 days by county animal control officials. The owner of the dogs, who had recently moved into the home with the woman and child, was still being sought and could either turn the dogs over to the county or comply with rules for keeping animals designated as dangerous. Vallejo police are still investigating the incident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured mother and child. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Dog Attacks and Liability Issues
In this particular case, it’s unclear as to what the relationship between the woman and the dogs’ owner was. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused by the pets. 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 such cases, injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Often, victims may also require psychological counseling to cope with the emotional trauma suffered during these attacks. An experienced California dog bite lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.