A 63-year-old woman was killed in a Los Angeles County dog attack after a pack of four pit bulls brutally attacked her as she was jogging. According to a KTLA news report, the pit bulls attacked the woman at 115th Street and Avenue S in an unincorporated area of Littlerock the morning of May 9, 2013. The woman was discovered by a female driver on Avenue S, who stopped her car when she saw a pack of dogs surrounding something on the ground. When she got closer, she was it was a woman surrounded by biting animals. She immediately called 911 and stayed in her car. The victim died in the ambulance.
Deputies launched a search to locate the dogs and their owner, which led them to a home not far from the site of the mauling. At least four dogs were taken from the home and two men were arrested. Neighbors told detectives that the dogs had acted aggressively even before this incident. Officials say they will run DNA tests on the captured dogs so they can positively link them to the attack. The investigation is ongoing.
Dog Bite Laws
Based on this news report, it appears that the female jogger was viciously attacked and killed by a pack of pit bulls that were running loose in the neighborhood. I trust officials are looking into how the dogs got away from their yard or if they had any history of similar attacks in that community.
California has a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog bite incidents. California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” This means that dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their pets.
Preventing Dog Attacks
With summer quickly approaching, we are more likely to spend much of our time outdoors. It is important to take the steps we can to prevent dog bites.
- Never pet a strange dog. Even if you are familiar with the dog, do not startle or provoke it.
- Stay away from a dog that is sleeping or caring for young ones.
- Remain motionless when approached by a strange dog. Resist the urge to run and scream.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still.
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
What Action Should You Take?
If a dog has bitten you, try to locate its owner. File a report with your local animal control department and make sure that you get immediate medical attention. Injured victims can seek compensation from the dog’s owner for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, surgeries, permanent injuries and scars and pain and suffering. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney will be able to advise injured dog bite victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.