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Are serious dog bite injuries increasing in California?

According to statistics recently released by California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) - and reported by an ABC affiliate here in California - the number of dog bite victims who require emergency medical attention has increased significantly over the last decade.

In fact, as mentioned in the current news report, there were 187,448 emergency room visits linked to dog bites/attacks from 2011 to 2015 - compared to only 181,618 from 2005 to 2010. Not only were there nearly 6,000 more emergency room visits from 2011 to 2015, but this astonishing total was reached in a mere five years, compared to the six-year total from 2005 to 2010.

So who is responsible?

While many reasons have been offered to explain why dog bites are on the rise - ranging from improper training to outright negligence on the part of dog owners - one thing is clear: dog attacks are a continuing problem.

So the question becomes, who is responsible? Well, even though we may never be able to identify a singular reason as to why dog bites are on the rise, California law does make it quite clear who is legally responsible when a dog bites an innocent victim - the dog's owner.

Specifically, under California's dog-bite statute, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries caused when their dogs bite victims who are on public property or lawfully on private property. In fact, this law applies regardless of whether the dog has ever shown signs of violence before.

However, it is important to remember that there may be a few exceptions to this law, such as when the victim is provoking the dog to attack. This is why it is crucial to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you or loved one has been bitten and injured by someone else's dog. A skilled attorney can explain your rights and help you obtain the justice you deserve.

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