The police were forced to shoot a pack of pit bulls that allegedly mauled two people in Kern County. The attacks occurred on a fenced property where the pit bulls were housed in Oildale. A man searching for his son entered the property, apparently with another woman, and was confronted by the three dogs. A neighbor said he heard screams and rushed over to find the dogs mauling a man and a woman. Police arrived to find the victims on the ground.
The deputies fired a total of six shots, killing two of the three dogs. Authorities later euthanized a third dog. The woman had bites on her arms, legs and upper body while the man’s injuries were said to be less severe. Both victims are expected to survive their injuries. Neighbors claim that the dogs were never a problem in the past.
The Truth about Breed-Specific Attacks
There are many people who believe that pit bulls and pit bull mixes are dangerous dogs. Others claim that the breed has nothing to do with the danger of an animal and that only environment contributes to aggression. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Certainly, pit bulls and Rottweilers have been responsible for the majority of fatal dog attacks. However, every year 800,000 people are seen in hospital emergency rooms for dog bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and these bites come from breeds of all types. Clearly, breed is not the only factor controlling whether a dog will bite. However, it is also clear that some breeds may be more prone to aggressive behavior given their overrepresentation in the statistics regarding dog bites.
Does Being On Someone Else’s Property Negate My Personal Injury Dog Bite Claim?
One of the first questions that most people ask when they have a dog bite case is if being on someone else’s property negates their right to file a claim. The simple answer in California is no. You are entitled to collect damages from a dog’s owner even if you were on the owner’s property at the time of the bite and even if, in some cases, you were uninvited. However, there are circumstances that can reduce the amount you can collect from the property owner and a few circumstances that may cause you to lose your right to recover damages.
Generally, someone who is bitten on a dog owner’s property is there by invitation. Once you are invited onto the property, the issue of liability is moot; a home or business owner is responsible for your safety any time you are on his or her property. However, there are also circumstances where an uninvited guest can enjoy the same legal protection. This might include, for example, a young person traveling door-to-door to collect money for a school fundraiser. It might also include, as in this case, a person acting in an emergency capacity in seeking a lost child.
However, if a person is breaking into a home or is trespassing, he or she may not be able to collect damages. Only a personal injury attorney can answer these questions based on the facts of a specific case.