Increase in Dog Bites Observed During the Holiday Season in San Diego
According to an article on NBC San Diego’s web site, dog bites in San Diego are up this year in the region and could get worse with the holiday season.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, December is also the peak season for dog bites and dog attacks. With children out of school for the winter break and mail carriers delivering a higher volume of mail and holiday packages, the environment is ripe for dogs to strike.
Increase in Dog Bite Incidents
The report states that nearly 2,700 dog bites were reported between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. The 92113 zip code in San Diego, which includes areas such as downtown, Barrio Logan and Logan Heights, had the most dog bites in San Diego with 113 incidents. In the 2012 calendar year, San Diego County letter carriers saw 75 dog attacks. So far, this year alone, that number is at 89. To remind dog owners about the importance of responsible pet ownership, letter carriers in San Diego will wear Dog Bite Awareness t-shirts on Saturdays and Sundays while delivering the mail.
Dog Owners’ Legal Responsibilities
Under California’s “strict liability statute,” dog owners can be held financially responsible for the injuries and losses their pets cause. 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.”
Injured victims of dog attacks are not only physically traumatized, but also psychologically and emotionally devastated. Mail carriers and delivery workers are simply doing their jobs. Dog attacks are every one of their worst nightmares. Dog attacks can result in serious injuries including bite and puncture wounds, skin and nerve damage, broken bones and internal injuries.
Dog bite victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, cost of cosmetic and other surgeries, permanent injuries, disfigurement and emotional distress. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer who will fight for their rights and help ensure that they are compensated for their significant losses.