San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys | Elia Law Firm, APC



Dog Bites – Breed or Owner to Blame?


A recent increase in fatal dog attacks in California has initiated some counties to examine mandatory neutering of pit bulls and other aggressive dog breeds. According to, a 2-year-old boy was killed on July 31 after being attacked in his home by the family’s shepherd-mix. Another 2-year-old boy was killed in Concord from a fatal mauling and in a separate dog bite accident, a man’s three pit bulls killed his stepson.

While some dog bite attacks in San Diego and throughout California are quickly attributed to a dog’s breed, when many of these accidents are looked into more closely, liability can fall upon the dog owner. Dog training, socialization, and other responsibilities of a dog owner can play a significant role in preventing dog attacks and bite injuries. How a dog is raised and socialized can greatly influence its behavior and how it interacts with humans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that every year, about 4.5 million people in the U.S. endure dog bites, in which one in five dog bite accidents leads to injuries that require medical treatment and care. The National Canine Research Council has documented 66 fatal dog attacks in California alone since 1965 with about 50 of the fatalities being children.

Dog bites can not only be emotionally traumatic and physically painful, they can also contribute to steep medical bills, especially for individuals who require reconstructive surgery. According to the CDC, over 31,000 individuals had reconstructive surgery in 2006 due to dog bite injuries.

A dog owner is responsible for following leash laws and ensuring that a dog is properly contained within a yard. Dogs that escape a premise and are not accompanied by their owner can unexpectedly attack children and adults in their front yards or on sidewalks.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack that you believe was caused by the dog owner’s negligence, a skilled San Diego dog bite lawyer can help you hold them accountable and obtain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Steven Elia today for a free consultation about your dog bite case by calling 619-444-2244.

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