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Dog bites a serious problem

A number of people in California are seriously injured each year because of dog bites. Recent statistics demonstrate the seriousness of the problem across the United States.

In 2015, 34 people died in the U.S. when they were bitten by dogs. A large majority of the fatal dog bite cases involved pit bulls, which accounted for 28 of the deaths. Rottweilers were responsible for three of the remaining fatalities. From 2005 to 2015, pit bulls and rottweilers were responsible for 76 percent of all dog bite fatalities that occurred.

Pit bulls killed 232 people in the U.S. between 2005 and 2015 while rottweilers killed 41. Of those killed, 41 percent were children aged 9 or younger. Nearly a third of the victims of fatal dog bites were either living with the dog's owner or visiting them at the time it happened. More than 70 percent of the fatalities occurred on the property of the dog owners. Two of the fatal cases in 2015 occurred in California while Texas had the most fatalities with nine. Of all the cases, only three in 2015 were charged as criminal offenses.

A person who is seriously injured in a dog attack may have lifelong disabilities and be disfigured as a result. Those who are injured may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer about what happened to them. Unlike some other states where the liability of a dog owner depends upon prior knowledge of the animal's vicious propensities, California is a strict liability state. Unless the victim was trespassing or was otherwise not lawfully on the owner's property at the time of the attack, the owner could be held responsible in a civil personal injury action for the damages that the victim sustained.

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