Articles Posted in Dog Attack

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163019101-300x209No matter how friendly a dog seems, it’s important to remember that canines are animals that can become violent with little to no warning. If you’re one of the estimated 800,000 Americans each year who require medical attention for a dog bite, Escondido attorney Zev Rubinstein can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

California law has adopted a strict liability standard that holds owners accountable for injuries caused by a dog’s bite regardless of whether or not the animal exhibited prior aggressive behavior. However, this law applies only to bites, not other types of injuries caused by dogs.

Although state law only makes owners liable for one type of wound, dog bites can seriously traumatize victims physically and emotionally. Mr. Rubinstein has helped multiple dog bite victims in the Escondido area recover damages for their injuries.

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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE reports that a pit bull attacked a San Diego Sheriff in Campo on September 14, 2010. The dog attack happened at 30031 Quail Road at around 12:45 p.m. while the deputy was attempting to serve a juvenile warrant.  The deputy was bit on the arm and knocked to the ground sustaining serious injuries. As a result, the deputy shot and wounded the dog in self defense.

Applicable California Law

Since the deputy was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the attack, he could file for workers compensation benefits as a result of being injured on the job. Furthermore,  the dog’s owner would be liable for the deputy’s injuries (see my prior Blog post San Diego Infant Mauled By Dogs for California Law on dog bits). In addition, if the owner of the property was not the dog’s owner and knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities, he or she could also be held responsible for the deputy’s damages.

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North County Times staff writers, Paul Sisson and Ray Huard, report that Hoa Lin, a 33-year-old postal worker  in Oceanside, died on June 3, 2010 from a fatal head injury sustained when a Rottweiler attacked him while delivering mail on his route. Lin was found lying in the street on the 500 block on Stanley Street around 4 p.m. on May 25 with a severe head injury. According to his wife, Teri, he was transported to Tri-City Medical Center, where doctors put him into an induced coma to try to control the brain swelling. Lin died  from “blunt head trauma,” according to the coroner’s report. The San Diego Humane Society, who handles animal  control  for Oceanside, euthanized the dog at the request of its owner.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Teri Lin, her children, family, and friends.

Applicable California Law

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NORTH COUNTY TIMES Staff Writer Michael Williams reported that a Point Loma woman, Carrie McKinney, will loose custody of her infant son as a result of him being mauled on by two pit bulls on April 3, 2010.  According to police, the dogs attacked the infant when he was left alone in a carrier at a friend’s apartment in Murrieta. The dogs bit the boys scrotum, after which he underwent surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center. According to Dr. Lance Brown, if the child were castrated he would require reconstructive surgery, and a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy. “While such an injury is not life-threatening, it is massively life-altering,” he stated. The two dogs were quarantined at the regional animal shelter in Lake Elsinore and then euthanized.

Applicable California

California Civil Code 3342 imposes strict liability on the owner of a dog who injures another. Most personal injury matters require a negligent, or intentional act to establish liability. In cases where there is a dog attack, the owner is liable whether or not they knew the dog was dangerous. In this particular incident the dog owner was not identified; however, if ascertained, hopefully he or she will have liability insurance to compensate the victim. In addition, the owner of the apartment building could be held responsible if they had knowledge of the dogs dangerous propensities.