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California dog attacks: common occurrence, strict owner liability

For many people, dogs are the epitome of good company. They are faithful companions, loyal to a fault and sensitive to all manner of human needs. Moreover, they are bundles of unbridled love, a quality that in itself goes far toward explaining their depiction as “man’s best friend.”

And then are those select dogs that aren’t, well, quite so endearing. Indeed, and unfortunately, some dogs are akin to time bombs that can go off at any time. Yes, there are sweet and cuddly dogs, but there are also maulers and killers.

For obvious reasons, that latter type of dog needs to be restrained. The public needs to be shielded from vicious animals, and dog owners who act negligently in protecting the public from their “pets” need to be held legally accountable for the damage that those animals cause.

A minority of states have a so-called “one bite” or “first bite” law that shields owners from third-party injuries suffered from an initial dog bite.

California is not one of those states, and it is helpful for a state resident bitten by a dog to know that the animal’s owner is strictly liable for any harm caused. A proven personal injury attorney with experience in dog bite cases can help a victim file for and recover damages.

Dog bites in California occur far too often. A recent example from the Orange County city of Placentia is not atypical for the details it presents.

In that case, two men were suddenly attacked by a pair of dogs described as “pit bull types.” Both men suffered significant wounds. One of the dogs subsequently charged a police officer, who shot it in self-defense. The dog charged again, and fellow officers had to kill it. The other animal was captured and taken into police custody.

Such incidents can happen virtually anywhere and, indeed, they often do. Readers should know that they have legal rights and remedies in the event they become victims.

Source: KTLA, "Man attacked by pit bull in Placentia talks about terrifying ordeal," KTLA web staff, Jan. 27, 2014

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