Dog attack is a terrifying event, and when it happens to children, it is even more horrible. Dog attacks on children occur in California at a dangerously high rate. The frequency of such attacks seems to increase at a horrifying rate. The most terrible fact is that half of all dog bite victims in California are children below the age of eight years.
Another serious issue is that among the deaths that happen due to dog bites, nearly half of them are children at the age of two or younger. The statistics of dog bites in California are scarier and the large number of dog bites is really becoming a nightmare for the parents in California.
So in order to address this issue seriously, the government of California treats these cases differently than when adults are bitten. A dog attack can result in severe injuries for children and in some cases it might lead to the death of the child. So such cases should be given special care.
General Rules in California for a Dog Bite
In many countries, the dog owners will not be punished for the first time their dog bites someone. But in California the owner will be held responsible for the injuries caused by his/her dog from the first time itself. There is no need for the owner to know that their dog is violent and capable of biting before the attack. The owner will be liable for the injuries irrespective of this knowledge.
There are two factors which decide whether the owner is responsible. The first factor considers whether the dog bite attack happened either on private property or on a public property and the second factor is based on the injuries caused. The owner of the dog will be responsible if the dog attacks a person on a public property or if the person was legally on private property.
The dog bite cases are treated differently for adults and children in California. If the dog bite an adult person then there are some limitations on liabilities which will act is favor of the dog owner. There are mainly three factors which decide the liability of the dog owner if a dog bite accident occurred. The first factor decides whether the adult victim who met with the dog bite accident was trespassing on private property. If this is the case then the liability of the owner over the accident will be limited.
In some cases the dog attack might not result in bite, for example if the person was clawed, knocked down or jumped on then the owner will only have a limited responsibility. This is the second factor which limits the liability of the owner. And lastly, if the dog was provoked by the victim and this was the reason behind the dog bite then the dog owner may not be liable as the victim caused the risk for himself by provoking the dog.
Dog Bite Rules for Children
If the victim of the dog bite is under the age of five then according to the laws in California the owner of the dog will be 100% liable for the injury and damages caused by the dog. When the victim is an adult the law considers if the attack is caused by the victim’s negligence or provocation. But in the case of children below five, the law considers that a child is too young to consciously provoke a dog or act in a negligent manner. So the owner will not be able to use a provocation defense when his/her dog attacks a child below the age five.
In recent years the state has consistently ruled out any chances for the dog owner to use a provocation defense against young children. According the rules that exist in California a child under the age of five is not able to understand that their actions might provoke a dog to result in a dog bite.
Things to Do if a Child is Bitten by a Dog
In any dog bite cases the first priority should be the safety of the victim, so seek the medical attention as soon as possible. In severe cases call 911 to get emergency attention. Even if the injuries are not severe it is better to seek the medical attention to avoid problems like infection or scarring in the future.
In most cases when the children are attacked by a dog the injuries commonly happen in the face or head which is very serious. This might leave the children with life-long scarring. So it is important to give medical care for children as soon as possible.
After getting proper medical care you can contact a dog attack lawyer for making a claim for the injuries suffered by the child. You can get a dog bite claim for the losses and damages incurred by the child. A dog attack lawyer can help you to get the right compensation from the owner of the dog for the damages caused by the dog.