January 1, 2013–Charlotte, North Carolina, and Boynton Beach, Florida–A woman suffered serious injuries as the result of a dog bite incident involving a pit bull, according to WCNC-TV News. The Charlotte woman, who has not been identified, is said to have suffered life-threatening injuries from bites to her leg by a pit bull dog, although the extent of her injuries and their exact nature remain unclear. Authorities were called to a home at Linda Vista Lane to find the woman in serious condition as the result of bites by at least one pit bull and possibly two of the animals. It is unclear if the woman was the owner of the dogs; at this point, no charges have been filed.
In the meantime, a two-year-old was bitten in the face in Boynton Beach in another pit bull attack, according to WPTV News. The little girl is now out of the hospital, but her face is severely damaged by the attack. The child was sitting in her grandfather’s lap and holding a toy when the dog lunged at her and bit her. The dog belonged to the child’s uncle, who had the animal euthanized after the attack. The child will be faced with a series of further surgeries to repair her facial wounds.
Pit Bull Attacks Account for High Percentage of US Fatalities
Although there has been a great deal of controversy over breed-specific legislation, with many communities lifting the bans on pit bulls, the statistics tell a grim story. According to Dogs Bite, an organization dedicated to education about dangerous dogs, at least 73 percent of all fatalities in the United States and Canada in the period 2006 to 2008 were the result of attacks by pit bulls or Rottweilers. Pit bulls currently lead the bite count at 28 percent of all dog bites, and pit bulls account for half of police calls about dangerous dogs.
Legal Issues for Dog Owners
While dog owners are entitled to purchase and keep whatever breeds they like, they are responsible for the damages caused by their dogs, especially for injuries to other people. In California, dogs are not granted the “one bite” rule that prevails in other states. If a dog bites in this state, it is considered a serious offense from the first and treated accordingly.
Owners of any dogs are required to keep the animals restrained and under control at all times. This means providing adequate fencing that the dog cannot breach and muzzling or controlling the dog when it is in public.
Liability Issues in Dog Bite Cases
If a dog bites, the owner is responsible for all injuries sustained by the victim. The owner will have to pay medical costs, sums for pain and suffering, and other damages, according to the circumstances and the level of injury which the victim suffered.
A dog bite attorney can assist victims in recovering damages for his or her injuries in these cases.