Are California Dogs Permitted “One Free Bite”?

California had one of the highest rates for dog bite fatalities in 2012, and 75 percent of those deaths occurred in San Diego County. Between July 2011 and June 2012, more than 2,900 dog bites were reported to the county’s Department of Animal Services.

Contrary to popular belief, California does not permit “one free bite” for any animal. In fact, most dog bites are from first time offenders. Owners are held responsible for any dog bite injury, even if the dog has no history of violence.

In 2010, a 2-year-old toddler was killed by three pit bulls after he wandered into a garage where they were being kept. Prosecutors said the boy’s body was covered in more than 100 bites.

The boy’s 56-year-old grandfather, who bred the dogs and was supervising the boy at the time, faced charges of involuntary manslaughter on July 8. The young boy’s mother pleaded for leniency, insisting that the whole event was undoubtedly an accident, but the man was still sentenced to one year in prison and three years of probation.

Every owner is responsible for the actions of their pets. Even if the dog was uncomfortable or provoked, any level of attack or aggression is unacceptable, and unquestionably dangerous.

Small children are most vulnerable to vicious dog attacks, which can lead to serious injury or death. If your child is bitten by a dog, make sure to get medical attention immediately. Untended bites may become infected, cause permanent skin and nerve damage or expose children to harmful diseases like rabies.

I Was Bitten By A Dog! What Are My Legal Options?

Choosing the right attorney is a key element of any civil lawsuit. In the video below, experienced personal injury attorney Bonnici Law Group explains the importance of being involved in the community.

If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit after a dog bite injury, make sure to photograph the injury and report it to any insurance companies. Most importantly, contact the Department of Animal Services, so they can determine whether or not the dog is a danger to the public.

Bites from vicious dogs can cause permanent damage and lead to thousands in medical bills. If you were bitten by a dog, call Bonnici Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys are ready to fight for you.

[Did You Know: If a dog has two biting incidents in less than four years, they are considered a “dangerous dog” for life.]

Bonnici Law Group, APC – San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys