Category Archives: Personal Injury

How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Truck Accident Case?

Friday, July 1, 2022

An accident involving a massive truck can leave a wake of devastation for the victim and their family, not to mention mounting medical bills, the uncertainty of the future, as well as pain and suffering. While negligent parties can be held responsible financially, those payments are not issued until the case is resolved. Clients are often left wondering when their case will reach a resolution.

While it can be difficult to enter into a process with no specific defined outcome or end date, the truck accident attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates aim to make your lawsuit process as transparent and informative as possible while you heal.

Truck Accident Claims Process

Due to the nature of the trucking industry, a truck accident claim takes time. Each truck accident presents a unique set of challenges dependent on a multitude of variables including the extent of medical treatment needed by the victim, insurance company coverage, and the availability of evidence or witnesses. In many instances, trucking accidents can have more than one party held liable including the driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, or even the truck broker.

While your attorney may have control over some aspects of your case, there is a specific process that your legal team will follow in order to handle your case:

Collecting Evidence

A thorough truck accident attorney will review every piece of evidence that may indicate negligence. Attorneys will review the scene of the crash as well as inspect the following types of materials for evidence:

  • Surveillance footage
  • Documents
  • Photographs
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Police reports
  • Event data recorders
  • Truck log and maintenance records

Medical Treatment Information

Depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, an accurate representation of damages may not be available immediately. Before deciding what may be a fair and reasonable claim, your attorney will need to receive complete medical documentation that outlines past, current, and future medical needs that resulted from the accident. That can mean waiting for extensive surgeries and therapies to be completed.

Injury Demand Letter

In order to move forward with your case, your legal team must submit a letter of demand to the defendant’s insurance company specifying how the claimant has been physically and emotionally affected by the accident and the damages required due to their negligence.

Settlement Negotiations

The negotiation process can be extensive as attorneys and the trucking company will go back and forth to assign fault and determine damages. Each party will scrutinize the evidence in order to reach a settlement. While most truck accident claims tend to be resolved in mediation, the lack of a settlement agreement, especially in a high-stakes case involving large, known organizations, means the case may go to trial.

Trial

Cases that proceed to trial can be drawn out by the process of the court. Cases can typically last a few days to several weeks depending on the amount of evidence to be reviewed, the number of witnesses testifying, and how long the jury takes to deliberate, among other factors.

How We Can Help

Truck accident cases involve a lot of moving parts that are necessary to proceed toward a resolution. It is challenging to identify a time frame in substantial cases, but starting as soon as possible is key. If you or a family member has been injured or killed in a truck accident, it is important to reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney immediately to assess and begin to build your case.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience handling truck accident cases covering not only the engineering and legal issues but also the day-to-day details for truckers that can lead to accidents. Our Bakersfield personal injury attorneys are skilled at identifying and acquiring crucial pieces of evidence, including driver logs and trucking company records.

Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 7:18 pm

5 Motorcycle Maintenance Tips

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

When you own a motorcycle, good maintenance is an important part of responsible riding. Keeping your motorcycle in good condition can prolong the life of your bike. In addition, regular maintenance can reduce the risk of accident and keep you and others safe on the road. 

Here are a few key tips for keeping your motorcycle in great condition.

#1: Change Your Oil Regularly

To keep your motorcycle in good condition, you will need to change your oil every once in a while. Your owner’s manual should tell you how often you will need to complete an oil change, but in general, this should occur after several thousand miles.

Most people change their motorcycle oil at least once per year. You may need to change your oil more frequently if you drive more often or take your bike through very dirty or dusty areas. Before you ride your motorcycle, always check your oil and never ride if it is low.

#2: Lubricate Your Drive Chain

One of the most important components in a motorcycle is the drive chain. The drive chain helps transfer power from your motorcycle’s engine to your rear wheel. If this chain falls into disrepair, your motorcycle can become dangerous to ride.

It is important to lubricate your drive chain on a regular basis. For best results try to loop the chain after each ride. You should also check the chain’s tension to ensure that it is adequate.

#3: Inspect Your Tires

Next, you should always check your tires on a regular basis and replace them when necessary. Your manual will also include instructions on how often you should change your tires and what type of tires to use.

In addition to regular replacements, you should always check your tires to make sure that the pressure is correct to ensure good handling and avoid potential blowouts. Always check for signs of wear and tear as well; If you notice anything unusual, take your tires in for replacement.

#4: Test Your Brakes Before Each Ride

Your brakes are an extremely important mechanism for motorcycle safety. You should always test your brakes before riding to make sure that they are working. You should also check the brake fluid to ensure that it is at adequate levels.

Every couple of years or as dictated by your owner’s manual, you should replace your brake fluid. Additionally, check the thickness of your brake pads to make sure that they are not worn down. If you start noticing wear and tear, replace them.

#5: Clean Your Air Filter

The motorcycle’s air filter keeps debris out of the engine. To avoid dangerous conditions, you should regularly clean your air filter with compressed air. If the filter is difficult to clean, replace it on a regular basis.

Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

These tips can help keep your motorcycle in good working condition and reduce your risk of an accident caused by poor maintenance. However, collisions can still occur on California roads. If you were involved in an unexpected motorcycle accident, it is important to speak to an attorney.

In California, injured motorcyclists may be eligible for financial compensation if someone else caused their accident. As soon as possible following the collision, speak to a Bakersfield motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your legal options.

Posted by highrank at 5:28 pm

How Frequently Should You Change Your Car’s Tires?

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Car owners often wonder how frequently they need to change their vehicle’s tires. Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that a vehicle is in good condition and safe to drive. Changing tires can go a long way in preventing an unexpected blowout or dangerous situation.

There are many different answers for how often you should change your car’s tires. In these situations, it is important to defer to the guidance in your vehicle’s user manual and look out for common signs of damage, such as unusual vibrations. 

Why Worn or Aging Tires Are Dangerous

Replacing your tires is more than preserving your car’s aesthetic value or being a responsible car owner. Tires are an extremely important component of your vehicle and could heighten the chances of an accident if they are worn or damaged.

Aging tires can make it difficult to stop or brake on demand. You may be at a higher risk of blowouts, which could strand you in the middle of nowhere or cause you to collide with another car. Additionally, old, worn tires do not have good road grip, which could cause you to spin out of control and crash. 

Signs That You Should Replace Your Tires

Generally, the older and the more worn your tires are, the sooner that you should replace them Experts generally recommend that you change your tires when you reach between 25,000 to 50,000 miles on them. However, you should refer to your vehicle’s manual for more guidance.

There are several signs that you should replace your tires, including the following.

  • Tread Wear: Generally, new tires have a tread of 9/32” to 11/32”. When the tire is worn down to 2/32” or less, you should replace your tires as soon as possible.
  • Bubbles or Bulges: If your tire has any bulges or bubbles on the surface, it is very likely that the tire has suffered damage. You should replace a tire immediately if you notice any bulges.
  • Vibrations: When a tire has been worn down, you may start to feel unusual vibrations while driving. These vibrations usually come through the steering wheel. 
  • Visible Damage: Tires that have cracks, cuts, embedded nails or stones, abnormal wear patterns, or any other signs of visible damage may be dangerous to drive. It is important to replace a tire immediately in these situations.

What to Do After an Unexpected Car Accident

Replacing your tires regularly can help keep your vehicle in good condition and safeguard you against accidents. However, not all drivers are responsible. An unexpected accident can happen at any time due to worn or aging tires, putting you and your passengers at risk.

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to remain calm and seek help. Call 911 immediately and report the accident to law enforcement. Go to the hospital and receive treatment for any injuries that you sustained. If you are able, take photographs or videos of the accident scene and collect information from the other driver and any witnesses.

Once you receive the treatment that you need, contact a Bakersfield car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you recover the compensation that you need to pay for medical care, lost wages, property repairs, and more.

Posted by highrank at 5:23 pm

Oil Extradition Industry Safety Initiatives

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The oil extraction industry has become known as one of the most dangerous occupational fields. Workers are constantly exposed to conditions that require heightened awareness and attentiveness due to operating heavy machinery, handling chemicals, and working amid unstable environmental conditions.

Federal and private organizations have been implementing and enforcing safety regulations for decades, yet catastrophic and fatal incidents continue to occur every year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 44 occupational fatalities in private sector oil and gas extraction industries in 2020, the last year of available data. Thousands of other injuries were reported ranging from slip-and-fall incidents to chemical burns.

Oil extraction companies are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment for their employees. With the concern of preventable accidents, many employee safety organizations have scrutinized the working conditions in oilfields and mandated strict regulations for operating procedures that promote safety on the job.

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates and enforces safety standards and workers’ rights, believes that most oilfield accidents are preventable and has identified common causes of injury and death among oilfield workers to heighten awareness:

  • Vehicle Accidents
  • Struck-By/ Caught-In/ Caught-Between Machinery
  • Explosions and Fires
  • Falls
  • Confined Spaces
  • Chemical Exposures

In addition to regulating worksites, OSHA’s mission includes supplying resources, training, and assistance to help companies eliminate hazards and maintain safe and productive worksites. Many private safety equipment companies like Honeywell and Workrise promote safe working environments in oilfields, providing education and training resources, personal protection equipment, as well as relevant research on the environmental impacts such as methane emissions.

To maximize safety awareness in the oil extraction industry, the American Petroleum Institute’s Onshore Safety Alliance urges all oil field companies to take extra precautions to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Simple additional steps can be taken to protect the physical and mental well-being of oilfield workers:

  1. Complete a Job Safety Analysis Process to help develop a safety program tailored to the job site.
  2. Provide additional PPE to all employees to prevent overexposure to noise, chemicals, and other hazards.
  3. Train employees in the specifics of the industry and provide regular safety updates on machinery, job site changes, and expectations.
  4. Provide advanced education on the science of oil and gas extraction.
  5. Provide all required safety signage as well as additional safety information.
  6. Hold supervisors to a high standard of safety.
  7. Complete timely equipment maintenance.

Providing in-depth training, safety gear, and equipment maintenance are all simple ways to avoid accidents that can potentially cause serious injury. It is inexcusable for organizations to disregard safety procedures to prioritize profit. Unfortunately, this along with careless mistakes on the job lead to preventable accidents. When an accident does occur, it is important to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience representing those injured in the oilfield because of someone else’s negligence, including obtaining $4.5 million for a defective oilfield derrick and $3.5 million for a worker who sustained injuries after an oilfield crane dropped on him. We understand the concerns and frustrations that working families face when an earner is no longer able to work due to injury. Contact our Bakersfield office today to schedule a free consultation of your case.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 2:40 pm

Hiring a California Personal Injury Lawyer

Thursday, May 12, 2022

With more than 100 years of combined experience, Rodriguez & Associates has fiercely fought for victims of car accidents, trucking accidents, school bullying, oil field accidents, police brutality, and many other types of personal injury cases. Our trusted reputation and record-setting case results are just part of why people like you choose us for representation.

“I was taken care of beyond belief and I want to thank all the staff, especially Martha and Joel.” -J.A., a former client.

“Daniel and his staff leave no stone unturned in representing their clients.” – J.T., Attorney.

If you have a personal injury case and are unsure how to move forward or pick a lawyer, keep reading. Below we will outline the next steps, answer common questions, and provide insight into the Rodriguez & Associates legacy.

If you think you, or a loved one, may have a personal injury case that could use the attention of one of the best Bakersfield personal injury lawyers, please give us a call at 661-323-1400 or fill out this form ASAP. We speak both Spanish and English.

How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

If you, or a loved one, are suffering physical or emotional injuries due to the negligence of another person, business, or entity, you may have a case. To determine this, two of the main factors to establish are liability and damages. While we fight for most personal injury cases, here is a list of our specialties.

How much does a Bakersfield, California personal injury lawyer cost?

We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay an attorney’s fee unless we secure compensation for you.

What damages are subject to compensation in a California personal injury case?

While every case is unique, some of the most common damages include pain and suffering, loss of wages, and medical expenses (current and future) resulting from the injury.

How should I choose a law firm to represent me?

When selecting an attorney or law firm, base your decision on their education and experience handling cases similar to yours. For example, founder Daniel Rodriguez J.D. also has an engineering degree and training in metallurgy, mechanics, forensics, ballistics, and other facets of engineering. Unlike an attorney with a political science undergrad degree, he can use his expertise to recreate a car accident or find where it was in the manufacturing and design process that the culprit corporation chose to cut corners on safety. Furthermore, this enables him to dig deeper to obtain more relevant information when questioning defendants and witnesses.

Additionally, you should pay particular attention to the firm’s reputation and its history of success in obtaining significant case results. Most importantly, you want a firm that will place your interests above all else and obtain maximum compensation for your injury.

Why choose Rodriguez & Associates?

We pride ourselves on giving each case the complete attention it deserves and requires at every step of the legal process. Below are some of the reasons why victims chose us.

  • By hiring doctors and other experts for each case, we create a formidable team that protects our clients’ rights. This helps us fight against big insurance companies and other lawyers who will do everything possible to avoid being held accountable for the harm they have caused our clients. We never cut corners or costs.
  • Our team is dedicated to obtaining the highest possible compensation amount for our clients. We secured the largest verdict in Kern County history of $70,578,289. Please review more of our verdicts and settlements here.
  • We take more personal injury cases to trial than any other local law firm. This means we get the highest amounts for our clients because insurance companies both fear and respect our ability to get the job done.
  • We treat every client like family and are consistently finding ways to improve our community. From financially supporting our local Burn and Neuro Trauma Units to our annual school backpack giveaways and scholarship funds, we are proud to give back to our community. Learn more about our community involvement here.

Our firm is highly experienced in handling personal injury cases involving:

What are some recent personal injury verdicts and settlements obtained by Rodriguez & Associates?

  • $16,100,000: For the driver hit by a big-rig tire that flew off.
  • $9,450,000: The second highest result in Kern County for wrongful death. This was due to a farm equipment accident.
  • $3,875,000: For a faulty brake repair by the dealership
  • $1,500,000: For a motorcyclist hit by a policeman running a red light.

Let’s Talk.

When injured Bakersfield residents want the toughest, most respected legal representation, they talk to Rodriguez & Associates. Contact our personal injury lawyers today to find justice after suffering debilitating injury and loss.

Please call or text us at 661-323-1400, or fill out this online form, for a free and confidential case consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 6:37 pm

How to Safely Share the Road With Motorcyclists

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common in the United States. Every year, motorcyclists suffer serious injuries and devastating fatalities in road collisions. Motorist negligence is often the cause of these accidents.

If you are a driver, it is important to know how to safely share the road with motorcycles. While driving, keep the following tips in mind to keep yourself and others safe on Bakersfield streets. 

#1: Keep Your Blind Spots in Mind

Many motorcycle accidents occur because drivers do not see motorcyclists. Cars often have blind spots where they cannot see vehicles traveling directly beside them. If a motorcycle is in the blind spot, serious accidents can occur.

When driving, always check your blind spots, especially before merging or changing lanes. This behavior can help you avoid colliding with a motorcycle in your vicinity.

#2: Put Away the Distractions

Drivers can fail to see motorcyclists for many reasons. Certain distractions can remove a motorist’s concentration away from the road, such as electronic devices, music, food, or even other passengers. If a motorist fails to pay attention while driving, he or she could accidentally collide into a motorcycle.

While sharing the road with others, put away the distractions. Concentrate your mind, eyes, and hands on the act of driving at all times. Just a few seconds of distracted driving could lead to a disastrous collision. 

#3: Be Careful While Passing

When passing a motorcycle, motorists should be careful. The law requires that drivers pass motorcyclists in the same way that they pass other vehicles. However, speeding past a motorcycle while passing could cause the motorcyclist to lose control of his or her vehicle.

To avoid catching a motorcyclist off guard, always pass at a safe speed and provide enough room to safely maneuver around the motorcyclists. Always make sure to signal your intent to pass by using your turn signal. Before returning to your lane, ensure that you are several spaces ahead of the motorcycle to avoid colliding into him or her.

#4: Provide Enough Room

Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. That means that motorcyclists are allowed to take up their own lane of traffic. Unfortunately, many cars drive too closely to motorcycles and expect them to share lanes.

When driving near a motorcyclist, always provide him or her enough room. Do not tailgate the motorcyclist and do not attempt to drive alongside him or her. Doing so could lead to a dangerous accident. 

#5: Avoid the High Beams

At night, it can be tempting to use high beams. However, motorcyclists are very vulnerable during this time—and bright lights could make it even more difficult to safely drive. While driving at night, turn off your high beams and ensure that you keep a safe following distance.

Speak to an Attorney About Your Accident Claim

If you are injured in an accident on Bakersfield roads, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Whether you are a driver or motorcyclist, filing a claim can enable you to recover damages to pay for medical care, lost wages, property repairs, and more.

In these situations, it is important to speak with a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can guide you through the claims process and advocate for your highest possible award. Contact a lawyer after your accident to identify your optimal path to compensation. 

Posted by highrank at 9:58 pm

Appeal Upheld in One of the First Civil Cases Against a School District in a School Shooting

Thursday, April 7, 2022

On January 10, 2013 (almost a month after Sandy Hook), a Taft Union High School student walked into class carrying a shotgun, aimed it directly at a fellow classmate, and shot him.

Now, almost 10 years later, the then 16-year-old victim is receiving full closure.

The State of California Court of Appeals has upheld the original verdict decided in July 2019, placing 54 percent of the responsibility on the School District for failing to protect their student. The judgment holds Taft Union High School District liable for over $2.5 million in damages.

The School District and its employees tried to dodge responsibility for what happened to their student and instead claimed it was all the actions of the school shooter, his mom, and his brother. The school district and its employees also tried to dodge responsibility by saying they are entitled to immunity under the law.

And, while this is usually the case, the ongoing reports of concern made by fellow students and staff to the school district and its employees revealed who knew the most and cared the least.

The mountain of evidence against the school district and its employees created a groundbreaking case in connection with what a school district is supposed to do when confronted with threats of a school shooter and how to protect their students from a school shooting.

Rodriguez and AssociatesDaniel Rodriguez, Chantal Trujillo, and Danay Gonzalez, from Rodriguez and Associates, have represented the student who was shot throughout this legal battle, which included a six-week jury trial.

During this six-week jury trial, they were able to prove that the school district chose to ignore its own policies and procedures, never informed the police about the reported threats, and never even informed the school shooter’s mom about the reports of concern surrounding her son.

California has had the most school shootings of any state since 1970, totaling 164. With school shootings on the rise, systematic improvements need to be made within the institution of public education to ensure the safety of all students and staff within schools.

In addition to handling cases of school violence, Rodriguez and Associates have experience working with victims of school sexual abuse seeking legal action to resolve complicated problems. If you believe your child’s school has failed in its duty to provide a safe environment for its students, contact us today for a free consultation.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 10:32 pm

What is an Oilfield Blowout and How Can They Be Prevented?

Friday, March 18, 2022

An oilfield blowout is an uncontrolled release of liquid, usually consisting of oil, water, and gas due to built-up pressure in an oil well. There are a series of tools and tactics that can be employed to prevent a blowout, but accidents still occur, causing tremendous potential damage, injury, and loss of life.

How do Oilfield Blowouts Occur?

Oil is a fossil fuel that naturally occurs over millions of years as underwater rock and sediment pressure separates water and carbon components from decaying life forms such as algae and plants. Over the centuries, pockets of oil develop in sedimentary basins where water was once located. Oil companies use enormous drills to reach oil pockets under land or water.

Blowouts can occur at any point during the drilling process. The immense underground hydrostatic pressure or the pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to the force of gravity, within an oil pocket can be volatile. Drillers counteract the change in pressure as they extract the oil using mud. If the balance of pressure is not managed correctly, liquids can interfere causing a sudden spike in pressure – known as a kick – causing a blowout.

The pressure released during a blowout can cause severe damage to equipment and machinery, creating a cause and effect that can lead to a sudden dangerous situation for oil field workers.

How can Blowouts be Prevented?

The best line of defense in preventing blowouts is to ensure that all oilfield workers are properly trained and exercise an abundance of caution while on site. Site managers should be well versed in identifying the warning signs of a blowout and have the resources to act accordingly. There are a series of blowout prevention tools intended to identify pressure kicks and prevent blowouts including annular seals, rams, and API equipment.

  • Annular seals are ring-shaped pieces of equipment that create a liquid-tight seal where the drilling pipe meets the well opening and helps to prevent leaks.
  • Rams act as a valve that can help regulate the flow of pressurized liquid and gas in the event of a kick.
  • API (American Petroleum Institute) certified equipment sets a standard expectation for the safety of industry operations.

Injured in an Oilfield accident?

When blowouts occur they can potentially leave devastating consequences. Workers caught in the midst of a blowout may sustain catastrophic, life-threatening injuries.

If you are the victim of a blowout, it is important to know your rights and have a team of attorneys who understand the industry ready to fight for you.

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience advocating for the rights of injured oilfield workers. Please reach out to our Bakersfield oilfield accident lawyers today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:00 pm

Danay Gonzalez Answers What NOT to Do If You Are a Party In a Lawsuit

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Danay Gonzales, personal injury attorney at Rodriguez & Associates, answers commonly asked questions about what NOT to do if you are a party in a lawsuit in her educational TikTok video:

Do NOT post about the lawsuit on social media- it will be used against you.

It’s important to be on your best behavior if you are involved in a lawsuit. Social media has become a widely used tool to help vindicate those at fault during a lawsuit because of a slight slip-up.

Posting about daily activities that make you “look” uninjured could hurt your case. It’s highly advised to stay off social media to better your chance at a successful lawsuit.

Do NOT forget to follow up with your doctors about your injuries.

It’s important to receive doctor’s notes/visits that report your injuries. Having medical records of your injuries during a lawsuit is important, and will be used to prove to a judge/jury that you were indeed injured. 

Do NOT take the first settlement offer- you’ll be lowballed.

Parties will offer you a lowball settlement offer during your first run; don’t take it. Chances are, opposite parties will come up with a higher settlement offer if they know you’re not willing to settle with a low offer. 

Do NOT lie to your lawyers- the truth always comes out.

Client confidentiality is very important to Rodriguez & Associates. Regardless of the case, always be honest with your lawyer so they can help you to their best extent. 

Danay Gonzalez is passionate about fighting for justice and is here to help with her informative videos. Remember to take your attorney’s advice, as they have your best interests at heart. 

CONTACT OUR BAKERSFIELD PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS

Rodriguez & Associates is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield, CA. We are available for weekend and evening appointments, charge no fee for consultations, and speak both English and Spanish. To contact us, please call 661-323-1400 or 800-585-9262 Toll-Free.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 9:41 pm

Data Analysis: Dog Attacks in California

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Along with cats, reptiles, and fish, dogs are some of the most commonly-encountered and beloved pets in the state of California. In fact, Pawlicy Advisor found that nearly 40% of California households owned at least one dog in 2020. In contrast, the same study found that only 22.9% of California households own a cat. When properly trained, socialized, and monitored, a dog can provide countless benefits to their adoptive family. They can serve as faithful companions, protect their owner from threats, or even serve as emotional support animals.

However, even the most gentle and well-trained dog can cause massive damage when provoked, particularly if they attack or bite a small child. To better understand how dog attacks deal damage and when they occur, we performed an in-depth analysis of bite attacks in California and the greater United States.

Dog Attack Resources

To quickly reach the data gathered at any specific section of this study, simply click the corresponding link below.

How Strong is a Dog’s Bite?
Who is Most at Risk of a Dog Attack?
Which Dog Breeds Cause the Most Nonfatal Attacks?
Tracking Fatal Dog Attacks Between 2005 and 2020
Underlying Circumstances of Dog Attacks Between 2005 and 2020
Fatal Dog Attack Statistics in 2020
Which Age Group Suffered the Most Fatal Dog Bites in 2020?
What’s the Average Cost of a Dog Bite Claim in California?
Do California Cities Have Breed-Specific Laws?
Protecting Yourself & Your Loved Ones From Dog Attacks

How Strong is a Dog’s Bite?

When the phrase “dog attack” comes to mind, you probably aren’t thinking of the neighbor’s Chihuahua as a likely culprit. Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the more powerful their bite. However, even if a dog has a strong bite, this does not mean they are any more likely to attack. A dog’s role, training, and temperament offer strong indicators of their potential to bite, and owners should always be very familiar with their pet’s warning signs.

Bite force is calculated in “Pounds per Square Inch,” or PSI. This is a measure of all the pressure applied to one square inch of a pound. When it comes to animals, this describes the force that is applied through a bite. For example, a human’s bite force typically falls between 120 and 140 PSI, while that of a mature grizzly bear is about 1,250 PSI. No dog’s bite force comes even close to the strength of a bear, but some of the strongest canines can nonetheless cause damage when startled or provoked. The ten breeds with the strongest bite force are:

Dog Breeds With Strongest Bite Force

Dog BreedBite Force (PSI)
Kangal743
Cane Corso700
Dogue de Bordeaux556
Rottweiler328
American Bulldog305
Doberman245
German Shepherd238
American Pitbull235
Chow Chow220
Malinois195

Who is Most at Risk of a Dog Attack?

According to research done by Psychology Today, children below the age of 15 are the victims of nearly three out of five dog attacks. Children aged five to nine are the most vulnerable of this group, and roughly 67% of these young victims are boys. One of the factors that increases the risks for children is that they are oftentimes unable to identify a canine’s body language accurately.

In a study of children in the Czech Republic, a dog’s emotions were correctly recognized only 17% of the time. Two of every three children in the study were unable to identify when a dog appeared afraid, and only 8% of the participants recognized threat indicators (as seen below). A fearful, worried dog is most likely to attack, and the fact that children are unable to recognize these warning signs puts them at increased risk of harm. With proper adult supervision, the likelihood of a serious bite attack can be reduced.

Percentage of Dog Emotions Correctly Identified

 

Which Dog Breeds Are Responsible for the Majority of Reported Nonfatal Attacks?

Using data gathered between September of 1982 and December 31st of 2014, we can get a sense of which dog breeds have historically been responsible for maulings in the United States. Please note that these figures have not been adjusted to prevent an attack from being listed more than once if the responsible dog is a mixed breed; therefore, we have included a “totals” row to track the number and severity of reported incidents. As an example, “pit bulls and mixes” caused 3,617 attacks resulting in bodily harm out of a reported 5,242 incidents, or 69%.

Dog BreedAttacks Causing Bodily HarmChild VictimsAdult VictimsMaimings
Pit Bulls & Mixes3,6171,4431,3792,249
Molosser Breeds[1]4,4671,8951,6222,732
Wolf-Like Breeds[2]45929496259
Chows & Mixes82542055
Totals5,2422,4231,8713,285

 

[1] Includes pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios, Cane Corsos, mastiffs, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brasieros, Sharpeis, boxers, and their mixes
[2] Includes Akitas, German shepherds, huskies, Karelian bear dogs, Malamutes, wolf hybrids, Shiba Inus, and their mixes

Tracking Fatal Dog Attacks Between 2005 and 2020

We were able to uncover data displaying fatal dog attacks in the United States for a 16-year period spanning 2005 to 2020. Pit bulls were found to have been responsible for most of the fatal dog attacks over this timeframe, with Rottweilers a distant second. 251 of the victims were age nine or younger, with children aged 0-2 suffering the highest number (149) of fatal bites.

Fatal Dog Attacks Between 2005 and 2020

 

 

Underlying Circumstances of Dog Attacks Between 2005 and 2020

Breaking the data from 2005 to 2020 down further, we can see that over half of the fatal bites were caused by family dogs and that the major of incidents occurred on-property. Fatal attacks by a single dog were the most common, but a number of bite incidents involved two or more aggressive canines. Please note that the table below contextualizes the circumstances that led to all fatal attacks (~570) in several different ways. Therefore, simply adding up the values in “number of fatal attacks” will result in a much higher (and inaccurate) death toll than was actually reported in this timeframe.

Type of AttackNumber of Fatal Attacks
Attack Involving One Dog304
Attack Involving Two Dogs131
Attack Involving Three Dogs49
Attack By Dog Pack (Four or More)84
On-Property Attack423
Off-Property Attack145
Family Dog Attack310
Non-Family Dog Attack260

Fatal Dog Attack Statistics in 2020

Looking specifically at 2020, the most recent year for which reliable data has been collected and made publicly available, we can see that pit bulls continue to lead the nation in fatal bite incidents. Taking a deeper dive into the data, pit bulls (33 fatal attacks), mastiff-type war and guard dogs (3 fatal attacks), and additional bull breeds (4 fatal attacks) dealt over 80% of lethal bites. One-third of the victims were children nine years or younger.

Fatal Dog Attacks By Breed, 2020

 

Which Age Group Suffered the Most Fatalities From Dog Bites in 2020?

Breaking down the proportions of fatal attacks by the victim’s age range, we can see that children aged 0-9 bore the brunt of lethal bites in 2020. Just under 33% of victims fell into this age bracket, which aligns with what we know about young children being at particular risk of incurring serious injuries from a dog. Somewhat unexpectedly, there were three victims in both the 10-18 and 19-29 age ranges, which see typically see less bite-related fatalities. All three of the victims in the latter category were male (aged 25, 26, and 27), and pit bulls caused all three fatalities.

Victims of 2020 Fatal Dog Attacks By Age

 

 

What is the Average Cost of a Dog Bite Claim in California?

Even if the victim of a dog bite survives an attempted mauling, they may suffer life-long injuries in the attack. Dogs are powerful and capable of inflicting lasting harm, particularly on young children and the elderly, who may be unable to resist or redirect the canine effectively. In 2019, there were 17,866 dog bite claims filed in the United States, totaling $802 million in value. According to data from State Farm®, the Insurance Information Institute, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), California led all states with 2,396 dog bite injury claims. The average cost of an injury claim in the state was $51,264.60.

RankStateAverage Cost / Claim (Dollars)Number of ClaimsTotal Claim Payout (Millions)
1New York55,80089349.83
2New Hampshire54,141.89985.31
3Florida53,603.491,26867.97
4Vermont52,761341.79
5Arkansas52,550.711377.2
6Oklahoma52,147.6722911.94
7Hawaii51,498.08623.19
8California51,264.602,396122.83
9Montana50,395.90562.82
10Maryland48,642.3929014.11
11Connecticut48,550.0730414.76
12Nebraska48,422.061155.57
13Illinois48,098.3285441.08
14Georgia47,968.2449723.84
15New Jersey47,868.7469933.46
16Missouri47,411.1935516.83
17Alaska47,237.36311.46
18Iowa45,981.431366.25
19Arizona45,811.2241018.78
20Nevada44,9041697.59
21West Virginia44,772.28713.18
22South Carolina44,661.4630713.71
23North Dakota44,166.40351.55
24Wisconsin43,593.0428512.42
25Massachusetts43,567.8042018.3
26Rhode Island43,567.80723.14
27Alabama43,22523410.11
28Wyoming42,938.19371.59
29Michigan42,832.8374037.7
30Mississippi42,520.781426.04
31South Dakota41,282.45431.78
32Kentucky41,2362018.29
33Indiana41,178.9132613.42
34Texas40,853.7093738.28
35New Mexico40,080.34963.85
36Louisiana39,65427110.75
37Maine39,123.57732.86
38Tennessee38,428.6429211.22
39Minnesota38,362.0536714.08
40Colorado37,981.8837914.4
41Idaho37,877.771852.8
42Washington37,680.7942516.01
43Oregon37,223.181856.89
44Delaware36,684.70582.13
45North Carolina35,815.8741915.01
46Pennsylvania35,56180728.7
47Utah34,548.941274.39
48Kansas34,424.461926.61
49Virginia31,976.7236311.61
50Ohio31,779.3676424.28

Do California Cities Have Breed-Specific Laws?

Not surprisingly, many California cities have breed-specific laws limiting the ownership and breeding of dogs that have been deemed dangerous or aggressive. Some cities forbid certain dog breeds from living in housing facilities, while other areas require mandatory sterilization. As of January 1st, 2021, the following counties and cities in California have passed laws to reduce dog attacks:

 

County or CityOrdinance & Impacted Breeds
AdelantoSpecial Requirements for Impounded Pit Bulls
AvalonMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
GilroyMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
GonzalesConfinement Requirement: Pit Bulls
HollisterMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls & Chihuahuas
Lake County“Adoption Amnesty Program” for Reduced Cost Spay / Neuter and Free Vaccinations
LancasterMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls & Rottweilers
MantecaMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
RiponMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
Riverside CountyMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
Sacramento CountyCounty “Sterilization Fund” for Free Pit Bull Sterilization (Income Restricted)
San Bernardino CountyMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
San Francisco CountyMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls
Sonoma CountyMandatory Sterilization: Pit Bulls

How Can You Protect Yourself & Your Loved Ones From a Dog Attack?

One of the best strategies to protect yourself from a dog attack is to reduce the chances of a bite occurring in the first place. You and your loved ones, including children, should familiarize yourselves with common signs of canine aggression, such as:

  • Loud, aggressive snarling or barking
  • Bared fangs
  • Biting at the air
  • Stiff ears and slowly moving tail
  • Standing tall with a wide stance

If you notice any of these warning signs, try to remain calm. Dogs may attack when they notice a fear response, so you should not run or turn your back to the aggressive canine. Some experts suggest standing indirectly of the dog and making yourself appear bigger, while not making eye contact.

Once a dog attacks, immediately shout for help. If a passerby comes to your aid, the dog may feel threatened and retreat. Dogs oftentimes clamp on the first thing they can get their teeth on, so you may be able to redirect the attack with a baggy article of clothing, a stick on the ground, or an object you’re holding. Protect your face and throat and ball your hands into a fist – a large dog may be able to sever a finger with a bite. If the dog bites and will not let go, do not panic and attempt to pry the dog off. You may worsen the injuries and, worse, not dislodge the canine. Try to overpower the dog and force it to release you.

If you’re bitten, no matter how minor the wound, see a medical professional as soon as possible. If the dog has rabies or another type of virulent infection, even a small wound may be life-threatening.

Sources Cited

https://blog.dogsbite.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/estimated-breed-specific-laws-2021.pdf

https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2020.php

https://www.dogsbite.org/dogsbite-recent-dog-bite-statistics.php

https://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/16-year-dog-bite-fatality-chart-dogsbiteorg.pdf

https://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/dog-attack-deaths-maimings-merritt-clifton-2014.pdf

https://dogsloveusmore.com/2020/02/15/dog-breeds-with-the-strongest-bite-force/

https://www.pawlicy.com/blog/us-pet-ownership-statistics/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201102/why-children-suffer-the-greatest-risk-dog-bites

https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/insuranceinformationinstitute/viz/DogBitesByState/Dashboard1

https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/dog-bite-claims-by-state

Posted by highrank at 8:21 pm