Children are commonly the victims of some of the most horrendous and traumatic dog bite incidents. The family of a child involved in an Laguna Niguel dog bite incident should notify the authorities, collect information from the dog’s owner and take the young victim to the hospital immediately so that he or she can receive prompt medical attention. It is also important that dog bite victims or their families understand their legal rights and options. The best way to do this would be to contact a Laguna Niguel dog bite attorney. They can provide more legal information that pertains to their particular situation.
Child Dog Bite Statistics
Dog bite incidents are tragically common and the victims are often children. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Approximately 4.5 million people are bitten each year by a dog.
- Almost one in five dog bite victims require medical attention.
- In the year 2006 alone, 31,000 people underwent surgery after being bitten by a dog.
- Children are more likely to require medical attention after a dog bite than adults.
- Children who are most at risk of suffering an injury are between the ages of 5 and 9.
The American Humane Association reported the following dog bite statistics:
- Approximately 92 percent of fatal dog attacks involve male dogs, 94 percent of which have not been neutered.
- Chained dogs were involved in 25 percent of all dog bite incidents.
- Over 70 percent of dog bite injuries occur to the extremities.
- Most victims of dog bite incidents know the dog.
- 50 percent of dog attacks involve children under 12 years of age.
- 82 percent of dog bite-related trips to the emergency room involve children under the age of 15.
- Unsupervised newborns are 370 times more likely to be killed by a dog than an adult.
- Over half (65 percent) of bites to children occur to the head and neck.
- 70 percent of dog bite fatalities occurred to children under 10-years-old.
Tips to Help Children Avoid Dog Bites
Here are a few helpful tips to help prevent child dog bite incidents:
Children should be taught to never approach a dog they are unfamiliar with.
- Running and screaming from a dog may provoke it to give chase. Instead, children should remain motionless if approached by a dog.
- If that doesn’t work and the dog knocks the child to the ground, it is best for the child to curl up like a ball and remain motionless.
- It is a bad idea to make eye contact with an unknown dog or to disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.
- A child should not approach or pet a dog, even if it is a known dog.
- An adult should always be present when playing with a dog and all stray dogs should be reported immediately.
- Families should not play wrestling or biting games with a dog.
- Infants and young children should never be left alone with an animal.
Protecting Your Child’s Rights
Under California law, dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pet regardless of the animal’s prior viciousness. As long as the child was on public property or legally on private property, the owner can be held financially responsible for the injuries suffered. In such cases, compensation may be available for medical bills, surgical procedures, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. If the child is traumatized by the attack, he or she can be compensated for the cost of psychological counseling as well. Many young victims of dog bite incidents need help being comfortable around animals again. In some cases, the victim may be fearful just leaving the house.
An experienced Laguna Niguel dog bite lawyer can help the victim’s family understand their legal options. It is not always easy to hold a dog owner accountable for an accident. The experienced Laguna Niguel dog bite lawyers at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP have helped protect the rights of children who have suffered horrific injuries in dog attacks. We have successfully pursued negligent dog owners financially and helped young victims secure fair compensation. Please call us at 949-203-3814 or contact us if your child has been injured in a Laguna Niguel dog attack.