Dog Bites Common in California


Dog Bites Common in California

I’m Ed Smith, a dog bite lawyer in Sacramento. The number of people who suffer a bite from a dog each year numbers in the millions. Half of those bite injuries are to small children between the ages of  5 and 9. While most do not require attention from a physician, enough do showing that dog bites are a serious hazard.

California Dog Bite Law

Unlike some other states, California law regarding dog bites makes the owner strictly responsible for injuries caused by their dog to another individual. Under California Civil Code 3342, the owner is responsible for damages whether the bite occurs on private property or at a public setting. However, in the case of private property, the bite victim must have either been a guest at the home or performing a duty such as making a delivery. Police and military members with canines are exempt from the law. In Sacramento County, dogs must be on leashes at all times when out in public.

Are Some Dogs More Prone to Bite Than Others?

Any dog can inflict a painful bite. However, some breeds have been reported as causing injuries more than others. According to, between 2005 and 2016, pit bulls caused 65 percent of the deaths reported by dog attacks. Other fatalities in 2016 were caused by attacks from American bulldogs, rottweilers, German shepherds, mastiff/bull mastiffs, huskies and mixed breeds.  

Dogs are equipped with powerful teeth that are designed to tear. Following are come of the injuries that can be suffered as a result of a dog bite:

  • Lacerations are deep cuts or tears in the flesh.
  • Tears in the muscles can require surgery to repair.
  • If the dog is of a larger variety, broken bones can occur.
  • Crush injuries leave a great deal of damage and can adversely affect tissue as well as blood circulation in the injured part of the body.
  • Puncture wounds may be deep and require medical treatment to clean the wound and to avoid infection, as reported by WebMD.
  • Scarring can occur and require plastic surgery to repair.
  • Infections occur in about 20 percent of dog bites, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Nerve damage occurs in some cases of dog bite. This can result in problems with mobility of the damaged limb and severe pain.

Dog Injuries Other Than Dog Bites

A dog doesn’t have to bite someone to cause an injury. Dogs, even small ones, can jump and knock someone down and cause an injury. This can be particularly dangerous for older people, who risk falling and breaking a hip or suffering other injuries. Children are at a high risk for injuries because they are often as small as the animal that is jumping on them.

Related Articles by Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer Ed Smith

Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a dog bite lawyer in Sacramento. Dog bite injuries can lead to a long recuperative period and resultant expenses. If you were injured by a dog or a family member was, call . My toll-free number is (800) 404-5400. My friendly and free advice is a phone call away.

For 35 years, I’ve helped Sacramento residents and many others in Northern California obtain fair compensation for their injuries. The wide range of injury cases I handle include traumatic injuries such as brain injuries and loss of a loved one through wrongful death.

See what others have had to say about my experienced law practice at Google+, Yelp and the legal site, Avvo.

You may also want to look over Verdicts and Settlements on my website, It offers a list of some of my cases and their resolutions.

I am a Million Dollars Advocates member. This group only permits top trial attorneys with client verdicts and/or settlements of $1 million.

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