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Dog Bites on Children in the State of California

Dog attacks happen frequently across the State of California. Unfortunately, young children are among the most affected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, states that children are at a higher risk of being bitten by a dog, and when they are, the injuries they sustain are more severe. The agency also reports that dog bites can occur even when the child is familiar with the dog.

Dogs are an important part of many families. Regrettably, the companionship these pets provide can be forever gone when the animal mauls a visitor or small child. Many children who grow up having a dog as a family house pet never encounter an issue, but this is not always the case for every family. Even a friendly dog can bite an unsuspecting child without any warning. As a result of a child’s small and fragile body, escaping the dangers of a dog bite can be impossible.

Dog Bites and Injuries

Today, there are approximately 68 million dogs kept as pets in households across the United States. The CDC reports that roughly 5 million people are bitten by domestic dogs across the nation. Generally, bite victims are attacked by a dog they have previously interacted with.

As a result of their short stature, young children are much more likely to suffer head injuries when bitten by a dog. In many cases, the child will suffer neck and face lacerations when bitten by a dog. In extreme cases, the dog will lunge at the child’s neck, causing fatal injuries. Even if a child does not sustain fatal injuries, he or she can experience serious medical concerns when the dog attack has caused the following: Deep wounds and lacerations, Serious infections, Broken bones, The need for a limb amputation, or The need for reconstructive surgery.

In any of these citations, the child will endure physical pain and emotional anguish. A mauling can lead to a lifetime of distress for the young child and his or her family.

Emotional Trauma Associated With Dog Bites

For many children, suffering a dog bite will result in long lasting trauma. According to a study, Scoping Decades of Dog Evidence: A Scoping Review of Dog Bite-Related Sequelae, dog bites can result in emotional distress, including the following: Anxiety, Nightmares, An increased fear of dogs, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Embarrassment of scars, and An increased fear of unknown situations.

The study also indicates that in more than 70 percent of dog bite cases, parents described the development of a new behaviour within a month of the attack, including: The child begins suffering from separation anxiety, The child begins to avoid dogs, and The child begins playing with toys differently.

Compensation is Available After a Dog Bite in California

Unquestionably, a dog bite attack can have profound consequences in the lives of children affected. The parents of these children may also experience feelings of guilt and anger over the attack. It is important to understand, however, that a dog bite can happen even if the dog has never demonstrated aggression toward the child before.

The State of California understands that a dog bite can happen even if the victim was familiar with the animal or the dog had no prior history of aggression. As a result, the state protects a victim’s right to compensation after a dog bite. Under California’s strict dog bite law, a pet owner will be held strictly responsible for the dog bite. Following an attack on your child, discuss your available legal options with a proficient dog bite attorney.

Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP understand that dog bite attacks on young children have adverse consequences that can affect the life of the affected child for many years. As a result, the firm works tirelessly to ensure the child has the best opportunity at making a full recovery. The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP will work diligently to ensure their clients obtain the highest compensation available. Consider scheduling a free consultation with the experienced law firm today.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.