Ventura County is a great place to celebrate Halloween. Children can get out in great communities and go door-to-door filling their trick-or-treat bags.
But all that roaming around on Halloween night exposes children to additional dangers they may not usually find themselves at risk of. Behind any gate or any stranger’s door, there may be a frightened dog that could end up biting a child.
Dog owners are held responsible for most dog bite incidents, and victims, or their parents, can seek financial help with emergency room bills and more. A Thousand Oaks dog bite lawyer can help families get the most in support for little victims.
Dog Bite Hazards During Trick-Or-Treating in Ventura County
Most dogs aren’t looking to hurt anyone, but Halloween can create a unique and confusing experience for some pets. A night full of frightening costumes and crowded sidewalks can actually end up scaring a dog. They can feel threatened and that’s when dogs most often bite.
Unfortunately, children are often the target of Halloween dog bites. They are going from house to house. They won’t have the awareness to back off from a growling dog. Their bodies are closer to the ground where vital organs and limbs are exposed to a dog’s teeth. Most Halloween costumes won’t provide any protection from the bite force of a dog’s mouth.
Children can suffer broken fingers and even have their fingers severed by a snapping jaw. Young victims might end up with broken arms. They can endure head trauma and even permanent disfigurements. Children will need immediate medical attention. They could require weeks of surgery, and months of physical therapy, and suffer a permanent disability.
Who Is Responsible for Dog Bites on Halloween?
Fortunately, California personal injury laws protect all dog bite victims. The concept of “strict liability” is used and dog owners are usually fully liable for the consequences of a bite. Strict liability means pet owners can be held financially responsible for bite wounds, even if it’s the first time the dog has bitten someone.
Dog owners are accountable unless…
- the victim provoked the dog.
- the victim was trespassing.
But even these defenses might not get a dog owner off the hook. On Halloween, a child may be confused about which homes are handing out candy and which homes aren’t. Young children aren’t expected to be able to use good judgment in these situations. If homeowners didn’t act to warn children away from their property, and an aggressive dog, they might still be held accountable.
Children also can’t always be trusted to stay calm around dogs. If a dog is easily provoked, it would be up to a dog owner to restrain the dog. The dog owner could be found liable for a bite on a child in situations that perhaps an adult victim would be blamed for.
A skilled dog bite attorney would help you and your child file an injury claim against the dog owner’s homeowners insurance provider or renter’s insurance provider. Your lawyer would fight to maximize the settlement money your family received.
Can I Sue a Landlord If My Child Is Bitten on Halloween?
In some cases, a landlord or property management company could also be targeted in a dog bite claim. The landlord may have already gotten complaints about a tenant with an aggressive dog. The landlord could be fully accountable if the dog later bites a child. It’s a problem the landlord should have taken care of, perhaps by evicting the tenant, before someone could get hurt.
The landlord is also responsible for keeping the property safe for tenants and visitors. A broken fence or gate that should have been fixed could let a dog escape on Halloween night.
Compensation for Child Dog Bite Victims
After a scary bite, the parents of victims can file injury claims and seek full compensation. A Thousand Oaks dog bite lawyer would demand support for every medical bill. The time parents lost at work while taking care of an injured child should also be reimbursed.
What’s more, child dog bite victims could need additional support for the future. Injuries suffered as children can flare up years later to affect a victim’s growth and development. Additional surgeries and physical therapy might be required. Your lawyer would make sure this support factored into any dog bite settlement check.
Schedule a free case review with Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC. It’s a risk-free way to determine what your child will need and how to hold a dog owner fully accountable. There’s no obligation, but if you feel we can help earn more in support for your child, you won’t need any money right now to hire us. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for your family.