Can a man’s best friend be someone else’s enemy?

Local U.S. Postal Service mail carriers are increasingly bitten by dogs and fall victim to attack on a regular basis. Last year, 6,549 dog attacks, were reported on USPS mail carriers worldwide.  The USPS defines an attack as anytime a mail carrier is harmed. That can mean a scratch, a bite, or a fall suffered when chased by a dog. It doesn’t take a severe bite to cause a severe injury.

Howard Blau Law has represented many dog bit victims.  In one particular case, the victim, who had dogs of his own, was bit by someone else’s dog.  The bite looked like a small abrasion on his calf until it became painful and red.  After seeking medical attention, and months in pain, the injured client was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (RSD), a neurological condition in which high levels of nerve impulses are sent to an affected area; in this case, his calf.  RSD can lead to permanent symptoms including numbness, tingling, and constant pain.  Ultimately, in this case, the client had a spinal cord stimulator implanted into his body to control the persistent pain.

Did you know, a small dog can be just as dangerous as a large dog?  In the video above, San Bernardino resident, Gabby Jones was walking to school when she was attacked by a neighborhood dog. The video shows Gabby on the sidewalk.  A dog can be seen running towards her, grabbing her arm, pulling her to the ground and biting her face.

Nationwide, as many as one million people annually require medical treatment for dog bites.  California has a “no free bite rule.” California Civil Code Section 3342 states, “The owner or possessor of a dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by that dog. The owner or possessor is responsible regardless of the dogs prior conduct, or the owner’s knowledge of that prior conduct.”

A dog bite can be traumatic and life changing no matter how young or old you are.   Be mindful when approaching any dog and cautious when playing with dogs.  Young children are extremely susceptible to nips, nibbles and bites in the face.

Go ahead, love your dog, your neighbors dog, just remember you never know when a dog will bite!