Dog Bites Reach Record Numbers in California

What are the risks of sustaining a dog bite injury in Escondido or elsewhere in San Diego County? California has always been a state with a particularly high number of dog bite cases, and it is routinely cited as a place with the most dog bites, resulting in insurance claims and payouts. According to a recent study conducted by the California Department of Healthcare Access and Information and reported by CBS News, “a record number of people have been hospitalized because of dog bites” in the state. Our Escondido dog bite injury lawyers can tell you more about the study and liability for dog bite injuries.

More Dog Bite Injuries are Occurring in California

According to the new study, 2022 was a record-high year for serious dog bite injuries in California. Indeed, in 2022 alone, nearly 49,000 people in the state went to emergency departments because of dog bite injuries. That number is a 12% increase from the previous year. To put that number in perspective further, it is a 70% increase from the number of emergency department visits for dog bites in 2005. Deaths from dog bites remain relatively rare, but there were 96 total deaths in the US in 2022.

Why are more dog bite incidents happening? More people own dogs than they used to, to start. Data from the American Veterinary Medical Association shows that there were about 62 million dogs in American households in 2001, and that number is currently around 86 million. In addition, researchers believe that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more people adopting and buying dogs that they could not properly socialize. As a result, the lack of socialization may have resulted in more animal attacks.

Understanding Liability for a Southern California Dog Bite Injury

California is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite liability. In other words, a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries if their dog bites another person, as long as the person who was bitten was lawfully on the property. The injured person does not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent or knew about whether the dog was likely to bite. Merely owning a dog that bites is enough for the owner to be liable, presuming the dog bites someone who was not trespassing.

The language in the California Civil Code explicitly 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.”

Contact an Escondido Dog Bite Attorney Today

Dog bites can happen almost anywhere, and these serious injuries often involve dogs that are known to the person who is bitten. If you or someone you love was recently injured in a dog bite attack, it is important to find out more about seeking compensation, especially for a severe dog bite injury. One of the experienced Escondido dog bite attorneys at our firm can talk with you today about your case and can discuss the elements of a dog bite claim in California. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help with your case.

See Related Blog Posts:

Dog Bites More Likely in Hot Weather

Steps to Take After a Rancho Bernardo Dog Bite Injury


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