Elderly Man Critically Injured in Los Angeles Dog Attack

Home | Elderly Man Critically Injured in Los Angeles Dog Attack

A 76-year-old man suffered critical injuries and his pet was mauled to death in a horrific dog attack in Lincoln Heights, KTLA News reports. The dog bite incident occurred in the 2600 block of North Lincoln Park Avenue. Witnesses and family told KTLA that the elderly man’s Pomeranian had been walking off leash about 75 feet ahead of its owner when two larger dogs attacked. They then turned on the man as he sought to help. Family members said the man routinely walked in the neighborhood with his dog, which died in the attack.

The pit bulls reportedly escaped from their owner’s yard. One neighbor said the dogs’ owner was in the vicinity trying to corral them, but wasn’t successful. Other news reports said the pit bulls were unlicensed. They have been placed in quarantine for 10 days. They will be held longer until officials can hold a hearing to determine the dogs’ fate. Officials are also investigating into whether any prior incidents had been reported with regard to these dogs. It is not clear if the owner will be cited or charged. The elderly man who was attacked by the dogs remained in critical condition after suffering head trauma and severe bite wounds.

Dog Bite Statistics

According to Dogsbite.org, there were 34 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities in 2015. In spite of being regulated in military housing areas and in over 700 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 82 percent of these deaths. It should be noted that pit bulls only make up about 6.6 percent of the total U.S. dog population. Also, data from 2015 shows that 41 percent of the fatality victims were children ages 9 or younger and 59 percent were adults 22 years and older. Of the adults killed by dogs in 2015, 65 percent were 60 or older.

If You Have Been Attacked By a Dog

If you or a loved one has been attacked and injured by a dog or a pack of dogs, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you rights or your loved one’s rights are protected.

  • If you are injured and/or bleeding, go to an emergency room and get medical attention, treatment and care right away.
  • If possible, take photos of where the dog attack occurred including images of your injuries.
  • Preserve any physical evidence at the scene including torn or bloody clothing.
  • Try to obtain contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the incident.
  • Get as much information as you can from the dog’s owner including his or her name, address, phone number and email; the dog’s licensing information; and the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy number
  • File a report with your local animal control agency, which is often part of the local police department or county.
  • Contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled dog bite cases on behalf of injured victims.

What Does the Law Say?

California has what is known as a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog bite cases. California Civil Code Section 3342 (a) 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.” This essentially means that dog owners are responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their pets. There are very few exceptions to this law. In most cases, dog owners can be held financially responsible for the damages their pets cause.

Types of Injuries in Dog Attacks

Injuries caused by dog bites can be relatively minor or they could prove to be catastrophic or even fatal. When these types of injuries happen it is important to seek medical treatment immediately.  After an attack you may also want to consult with a dog bit lawyer to learn your rights.  Here are some of the examples of injuries that could occur as a result of dog attacks:

  • Bite or puncture wounds: When dogs sink their teeth into the skin, they can leave deep puncture wounds and bite marks on the skin.
  • Other wounds and lacerations: In a brutal attack, animals could tear the flesh off a victim’s body. These victims need cosmetic surgery to repair such horrific wounds.
  • Nerve damage: In severe attacks, victims may even suffer nerve damage leaving them with no sensation in the part of the body that was attacked.
  • Broken bones: When victims are pushed to the ground, they may suffer broken bone injuries as well.
  • Head injuries: Dog attacks could also result in head injuries, particularly, if victims fall and hit their head as they are being pushed or shoved.

It is important to remember that dog attacks could result in severe scarring or disfigurement. Health insurance may not cover cosmetic surgery and victims are often faced with the prospect of having to pay for costly reconstructive surgery out of pocket. In addition to the physical injuries they suffer, dog bite victims also suffer psychological damage. Many suffer post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. They may also suffer from paranoia and panic attacks. Patients often need psychological counseling to address these issues in the long term.

Compensation for Victims

The value or worth of your dog bite injury claim could depend on the nature and extent of your injuries and the liability on the part of the dog owner. Often dog bite claims are paid by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. If you have been the victim of a dog attack, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitative treatments, cosmetic surgery, psychological counseling, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

The experienced dog bite lawyers at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates have helped injured victims and their families obtain maximum compensation for their losses. We understand what it takes to fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us at (800) 838-6644 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.

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About The Author

Attorney Tim Ryan, author of "The Personal Injury Victim's Bible", has assisted thousands of injury victims, obtaining more than $1 billion for his clients collectively since 1981.

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