Dog Bites

Dogs are often considered a best friend.  While this is usually true, dogs may attack.  In our experience, we learn that violence is not innate to the dog itself, but it is more a reflection of the environment, training or owner.

When a person gets attacked, the owner must be responsible for the dog’s actions.  The Quirk Law Group work to make those owners compensate you in the event you are attacked by their dog.

The Statistics[1]

  1. An estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year
  2. Nearly 800,000 dog bites require medical care
  3. Approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered
  4. Approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks involved chained dogs.
  5. Approximately 71% of bites occur to the extremities (arms, legs, hands, feet)
  6. Approximately two-thirds of bites occurred on or near the victim’s property, and most victims knew the dog
  7. The insurance industry pays more than $1 billion in dog-bite claims each year
  8. At least 25 different breeds of dogs have been involved in the 238 dog-bite-related fatalities in the U.S.
  9. Approximately 24% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off of their owners’ property
  10. Approximately 58% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property.

Dog Bites and Children 

  1. 50% of dog attacks involved children under 12 years old.
  2. 82% of dog bites treated in the emergency room involved children under 15 years old.
  3. 70% of dog-bite fatalities occurred among children under 10 years old.
  4. Bite rates are dramatically higher among children who are 5 to 9 years old.
  5. Unsupervised newborns were 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog.
  6. 65% of bites among children occur to the head and neck.
  7. Boys under the age of 15 years old are bitten more often than girls of the same age.

What to Do?

Get immediate medical attention.  Dog bites often lead to serious injuries or infections if not treated.

Identify the dog that attacked you.  For dog bites and dog attacks, it is important to identify the dog so you can identify the owner of the dog or where the dog lives.

Report the attack.  Call local animal control, or the local sheriffs or police.

Take pictures of the dog.  Take pictures of all ripped, torn or bloodied clothing.  Take pictures of the scene. Take pictures of all visible injuries.  Document the injuries with daily pictures.

The Law

California law, California Civil Code section 3342, holds dog owners strictly liable and responsible for unprovoked attacks.  Dog owners may even be liable if the dog has no prior history of attacks or past aggression.

What We Do

All dogs, regardless of their demeanor, should be carefully monitored by their owners and prevented from exposure to situations where someone may be bitten.  Unfortunately, this is often not done, and people are injured.  When this happens, the law demands that the victim be compensated for not only their medical expenses, but also their pain, suffering, distress, and inconvenience.   We will strive to get you so compensated for your losses.

Why Us?

From the beginning, the Quirk Law Group will give you candid and practical answers.  Unlike others, Quirk is different.  We treat you like a person, and you get personalized attention and real answers.

Thank you for visiting our “Quirky” site.  We look forward to hearing from you.

[1] http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/stop-animal-abuse/fact-sheets/dog-bites.html,citing,

National Canine Research Foundation. Fatal dog attack studies. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from http://ncrf2004.tripod.com/id8.html
Centers for Disease Control. (2003). Nonfatal dog bite-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments-US 2001. MMWR, 52(26), 605-610.
Humane Society of the United States. (2005). National Pet Related Statistics. Shelter Pages, 37-38.

Sacks, J. J., Sinclair, L., Gilchrist, J., Golab, G. C., & Lockwood, R. (2000). Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. JAVMA, 217(6), 836-840.
Sacks, J. J., Sattin, R. W., & Bonzo, S. E. (1989). Dog bite-related fatalities from 1979 through 1988. JAMA, 262(11), 1489-1492.

08/07/2013
By Logan Quirk