Gabriella Jones, 8, suffered severe dog bite injuries after a pit bull attacked her on her way to school. According to news reports, Gabriella was bitten on the face, her left hand and left leg by the pit bull that grabbed her and would not let go. Gabriela said the dog dragged her by her hand, pushed her to the ground and started biting her. The gruesome attack was caught on video by an observer. She was rescued in time by a neighbor who kicked the dog hard forcing the animal to let the girl go.
Gabriella’s mother, Rebecca Patino, said her daughter would not be alive but for the neighbor who acted in time. Although her wounds are healing, Patino says Gabriella will need cosmetic surgery for the facial scars. Patino has a message for dog owners: “Keep your dog inside…it’s really important because you can hurt others by letting your dog go out.”
Our hearts go out to this little girl who is going through physical and emotional trauma in the aftermath of a brutal dog attack. We wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.;
Strict Liability in Dog Attacks
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to why the pit bull was roaming the street at the time and if the dog’s owner has been located. It is also not known if the dog had a history of attacking other animals or people in the neighborhood. California has a strict liability statute when it comes to dog attacks. Dog owners whose pets attack others and cause injury can be held financially responsible for the damages and losses they cause.
According to California’s Civil Code Section 3342: “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.” Justice
Justice and Compensation
In such cases, injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, cost of cosmetic surgery, psychological counseling, pain and suffering and mental anguish. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced San Bernardino dog bite lawyer who will fight for their rights, ensure that they are fairly compensated for their losses and hold the negligent dog owner liable.