Child Dog Bite Attorney

The Humane Society estimates that around 51% of dog bite victims are children. Children between the ages of 5 to 9 years old are more likely to get bitten than any other group of people. Dog bites are the second most common reason children end up in urgent care. Children are more likely to be a victim of severe dog bites, and require extensive medical treatment that may need future care. Children are more likely to be victims of dog bites since they placer their faces closer to the dog’s face. Children don’t have the ability to comprehend the dangers associated with getting too close to an aggressive dog that exhibits aggressive behavior.

Children are also likely to get bitten by a dog within the family. 77% of child dog bites were from a family dog, and 80% of child dog bites occurred in the victim’s home. Especially during these last couple months, there was a sudden increase in dog adoptions as homeowners adopted dogs to have as protection and guard the home. With the increase of adoptions of dogs, there has also been an increase in dog bites.

Will my dog accept a new baby into the family?

Children, especially young children, are groups where dogs exhibit the most aggressive behavior towards. This could spark from potential jealousy, or to establish their dominance in the household. When a baby cries, a dog is more likely to be triggered, and then exert aggressive behavior towards the baby. The dog enters into predatory mode, and tries to end and put a stop to the crying sound. This results in the unfortunate mauling or biting of the baby. The Humane Society of the United States advises that before bringing a newborn baby into the home, that the dog be slowly conditioned to newborn babies. This means possibly bringing in a small doll to see the dog’s reaction. Especially when dogs do not share a home with children, and are now being forced to share the house with a baby, dogs are more likely to exert more aggressive behavior.

Because a child dog bite claim could be complex and difficult to navigate through due to several causes, it is important to hire an experienced dog bite attorney. Even well-trained dogs could exert some type of aggressive behavior when they see a child. A child further taunting the dog may make aggression worse. Further, a child’s loud and unpredictable actions could make a dog more likely to attack the child.

Strict Liability Dog Bite Cases in California

It is very important to hire an attorney who is well aware of dog bite cases in your jurisdiction. Each state has different rules in which they categorize dog bite cases. For example, California categorizes dog bite injuries as strict liability. Strict liability puts liability onto the defendant despite the fact that the defendant has shown excessive care to prevent that specific injury. It does not matter what steps the defendant took to prevent the injury, nor what the defendant’s mindset was. The defendant will nevertheless be liable for injuries caused by an attack of their dog. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney who is aware and understands California laws relating to dog bite statutes. Our Attorneys at Heidari Law have decades of experience representing dog bite victims, and are readily accessible in major cities across the state of California. Our offices are located in Fresno, Irvine, and Los Angeles.

Facial Dog Bite Severity

Experiencing a dog bite can be very traumatic to a victim, especially to a child. Because children are constantly growing, their bones have not been fully hardened, and their skin may still be forming a protective barrier. Although a dog bite may seem minor to an adult, a child may face more severe injuries since their skin is still in the process of hardening. Every year, insurance companies report that millions of dollars are spent for facial reconstruction surgeries on children as a result of dog bites.

Why Do Child Dog Bites Occur?

One of the most common reasons a dog bites a child rather than an adult is because children do not understand the dog’s boundaries. Children would innocently want to play with the dog and get very close to the dog’s face and mouth. As a result, the dog would feel as if the child is intruding on their privacy. In order to assert their dominance, the dog would then show aggressive behavior and deter the child away. The dog can show aggressive behavior in many different ways, which include kicking the child, biting the child, or pushing the child away to the floor.

Most Common Dog Breed Types

Although dog behavior depends on the dog’s personality and history, there have been some studies that have shown that specific dog breeds take up the majority in child dog bite cases. These dogs are known for their dominance and strength, and they oftentimes feel competition when a child enters their home. The top five dog breeds that have led to fatalities are PitbullsRottweilersGerman Shepherdsmixed breeds, and Bulldogs.

What To Do After a Dog Bites Your Child

When a dog bites a child, time is of the essence as adults rush around trying to figure out the best course of action to help the child. A small bite could result in serious physical and emotional injuries. Although children may heal quicker, the severity of the injury is more when compared to an adult.

  1.  The first step after your child has been bitten by a dog is to seek medical care immediately. Not only would seeking medical care help with the treatment, but also the doctor would help in explaining what exactly happened when looking at the wound. The doctor could determine how the wound occurred, along with what may have aggravated the dog to cause such a wound.
  2.  After seeking medical attention, make sure the wound is constantly looked after. This includes applying constant antibiotic ointment, along with changing the bandages every couple hours to prevent any infections.
  3.  Reach out to the dog and the dog owner and get their information. The majority of the time, dog bites occur at home and with a familiar family dog. If you are not aware of the dog owner, investigate and look into who the dog owner maybe, along with collecting any other information to contact them.
  4. Many parents choose to report the animal to animal control depending on the severity of the bite. This occurs with a written report done with the Humane Society located in that city. The animal control department will later investigate and look into the claim to determine who owns the dog, along with the dogs past history and behavior.
  5.  Contact a personal injury attorney to file a suit against the defendant owner of the dog. Medical treatment can oftentimes be costly, and it is unfair for a parent to pay upfront all the costs regarding the treatment. This is a very difficult process to go through, and our attorneys will be there every step of the way to make sure your child’s interests are well protected.

If your child has experienced a dog bite, it is important to seek some type of medical care immediately. Essentially, time is of the essence when your child is bitten. You must seek urgent care immediately or the condition will get severe. After seeking medical care, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced child dog bite attorney that could advise you on whether you have a legal claim against the other party. Especially because California is a strict liability jurisdiction, dog bite victims are protected and could be reimbursed for their medical bills and emotional distress. Children are more likely to suffer emotional distress throughout the healing process due to the excruciating pain that they are not familiar with. It is important that we represent our clients’ interests and ensure maximum compensation for all types of injuries they experienced.

Contact us today at Heidari Law Group for a free case consultation.

***Disclaimer: This blog is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this blog, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.