The Impact of Breed-Specific Legislation on Dog Bite Injury Cases

Breed-specific legislation (BSL), laws targeting specific dog breeds deemed potentially dangerous, is often a contentious issue. Lawmakers enact these regulations with the belief that they will reduce the frequency and severity of dog bites. However, the real-world impact of such laws on Bakersfield dog bite injury cases might not align with the intended goal.

Does Breed-Specific Legislation Reduce the Risk of Dog Bites?

While data on this topic are limited, a few studies have analyzed the impact of BSL on dog bite injury incidents. Notably, a Danish study focused on the city of Odense, which enacted BSL in 2010. The researchers leveraged a robust dataset from hospital emergency room records, containing detailed reports on over 2,600 serious dog bite-related injuries spanning 2002 through 2015. This period provided a balanced view of incidents occurring before and after the legislation was enacted.

The findings, however, showed that BSL did not affect dog bite-related injuries. Neither the number nor the severity of these injuries decreased post-BSL. Instead, the study suggested that breed-neutral regulations were a more effective method of reducing dog bite-related incidents.

Can Being Bitten by a Banned Dog Affect Your Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit?

In California, dog owners are strictly liable for any bite injuries their pets inflict. This liability holds regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression or if the owner took reasonable steps to prevent an attack. In these scenarios, victims have the right to pursue a lawsuit and seek compensation for a dog bite.

The breed of the dog involved does not always affect a lawsuit. However, if an attack occurs in an area with BSL in place and involves a breed banned under that legislation, the implications might change. The context could potentially influence liability determination or compensation, although these situations would need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What Should You Do If You Are Bitten by a Dangerous Dog in Bakersfield?

If you are bitten by a dangerous dog, it is important to protect yourself and your well-being. You should follow a set of critical steps:

  • Immediately call 911 and get to a safe place away from the animal. 
  • If possible, perform first aid on your injuries. Wash the wound with warm water and mild soap, apply an antibiotic ointment if possible, and wrap it in a clean bandage.
  • Promptly seek medical attention, regardless of the severity of the bite. Dog bites can easily lead to infections due to bacteria in the dog’s saliva, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
  • If you can, make sure to document all evidence of the incident, including photographs of your injuries, and the location where the incident occurred. 
  • Report the incident to local authorities, making sure to prove the evidence that you have collected. 

Once you have taken these steps, contact an attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. A Bakersfield personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of potentially filing a lawsuit and advise you on the best course of action. 

Your attorney will also consider how local legislation, like BSL, would potentially affect your case and your future settlement. After seeking medical care, schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case and plan your next steps.