Dog Attack Results in Death of Five-Year-Old in California

Boy Dies in California Pit Bull Attack

A dog attack claimed the life of a boy, age 5, in the unincorporated community of Oro Grande, north of Victorville, in San Bernardino County recently. The child was inside his home on Portland Street with an adult member of the family when he was fatally attacked by a pit bull that was a family pet. The attack happened just before 3:00 in the afternoon, according to an officer with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. An adult in the house phoned 911 to report the attack. The reporting person said they had stepped out of the room and that the dog continued to assault the child and would not let go. The injuries to the child were significant, and he was declared dead by paramedics at the scene. It is unknown why the dog attacked the child. San Bernardino animal control placed the dog in quarantine. The deadly incident is being investigated by police to determine what happened.

The Trauma the Family Faces

Nothing is more tragic than the loss of a child or other loved one, and it is especially difficult if the accident was caused by a dog attack. Children under 14 are especially vulnerable when left unattended around dogs and represent a high number of injuries and fatalities that occur every year. Under California law, a family can typically file a wrongful death claim against the dog’s owner to recover damages if negligence in the attack is shown. However, each situation is different, and this must be considered on a case by case basis. While it will not bring their loved one back, it does punish the negligent person who failed to properly restrain the dog.

Facing the Death of a Child

The death of a child is an overwhelming experience for the parents and other family members. This unique type of loss can cause the grieving to go on longer and be more intense. Some of the following suggestions are ways in which a family member, friend, or co-worker may help the family during this traumatic period:

  • The family may want to talk about the incident or child, although it is a painful subject. Talking about the incident and loss is one way that people grieve, and being a good listener can help. However, if they prefer not to talk about it, do not press.
  • Don’t talk about experiences that other people had that were tragic. The parents and other close relatives need to focus on their own loss.
  • Remember that the father suffered the same loss. Because women tend to be more demonstrative, we sometimes forget that the father is grieving too, so it is important to interact with him.
  • Send a card, flowers, or make a donation in memory of the child. 
  • Help with chores around the house, shopping, or gardening.
  • Send food to the home or order it delivered. People who are heavily grieving often forget to eat unless they are encouraged to do so.
  • Offer to go along to make the funeral arrangements. This is especially important if there is only one parent. Making funeral arrangements for a child is probably one of the most difficult things there is to do, and having someone along can provide a measure of comfort. 

Investigating a Dog Bite Claim

An experienced dog bite lawyer can help a family whose loved one was killed in a canine attack to obtain the compensation they deserve. Our investigators immediately go to the accident site to talk to witnesses. They check over the police report for mistakes because this document is commonly used when dealing with the insurance company or preparing a case for court. The investigators talk to neighbors and delivery people to see if there was any sign of previous aggression from the animal. When the evidence is gathered, our lawyers use it to negotiate with the insurance company on the client’s behalf or prepare a strong court case.

Sacramento Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento dog bite lawyer. If your loved one was injured or died as a result of a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or through the free long-distance line at (800) 404-5400 for my free and friendly advice. An online form is also available for your use.

I’ve helped Sacramentans for more than 38 years to obtain compensation in areas such as wrongful deaths, traumatic injuries, and all types of traffic collisions, among others.

Learn about my law firm by going to the following links to see client reviews and cases previously handled by my firm:

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