Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer Edward A. Smith Discusses Local Pit Bull Attack

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Law Offices of Edward A. Smith (, a personal injury law firm, is releasing its comments on a recent dog bite incident that left a minor child injured.

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"Unsupervised newborns were 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog." (American Humane Association)

As seen on on September 6, 2013, a local Sacramento girl, Jaelynn Esteves Boyce, 8, needed 14 stitches and multiple bandages to treat wounds sustained to her leg and back after being seriously bitten by a dog at her cousin's home in Del Paso Heights. This unfortunate event involved a pit bull mix. The family had been caring for the dog in behalf of a friend at the time of the incident.

Sacramento personal injury lawyer,Edward A. Smith, has helped victims of dog bites for over 30 years. Sadly, most dog bite cases handled by lawyers involve children. Statistics released by Centers for Disease Control also confirm that dog bites involving children are significantly higher than those involving adults and more often require emergency room treatment. The American Humane Organization states that 50% of dog attacks involve children under the age of 12.

Attorney Edward Smith has observed that newborns are at the greatest risk of permanent disfigurement and death. Dog experts recommend that an infant child never be left unattended in the presence of a dog, even a long time family pet.

The website of The American Humane Organization states that those children at greatest risk for a dog attack would be those in the age range of 5 to 9 years of age. Dog experts encourage parents to help children understand that dogs with puppies or dogs that are playing with or guarding toys, sleeping or eating should be left alone as the dog may not understand the movements of a child at play and can react negatively by biting. Dogs left on their own for long periods of time may feel uncertain or perhaps become overly confident. This behavior poses risks to the dog as well as to other people. Dogs, like humans, need to learn social skills.

A dog left chained for long periods of time also can experiences stress which can increase the chances of a dog bite incident. On the other hand, allowing dogs to roam with no clear guidelines of their territory can also cause a dog to perceive the need to 'defend their territory.' Dogs must have a clear understanding that they cannot roam free everywhere otherwise 'everywhere' becomes their territory which increases the likelihood of a dog bite.

While education and training are the best defense, situations vary. Since dog attacks can be quite unexpected from the viewpoint of a dog owner, one should look into protecting ones liability. Some home insurance polices have dog exclusion clauses or may specify that certain breeds of dogs are not covered under a homeowners existing liability policy. Smart homeowners will confirm with their insurance company directly when a dog is acquired to make sure coverage is afforded. If not, appropriate coverage should be purchased. Additionally, a person who rents a home or apartment can obtain liability coverage for their pets under their renters insurance. Under certain circumstances, a landlord also may be responsible.

Besides the emergency medical bills incurred immediately after a dog attack, a claim can include those medical bills involving care for scarring or disfigurement. Facial disfigurement can cause a youth to experience emotional trauma. Plastic surgery can diminish the scarring resulting from serious dog bites and this should be compensated for if a claim is pursued. Depending on the severity of attack, psychological counseling can helpful and is a chargeable expense.

Mr. Smith has been a trial attorney since 1982, has a coveted rating of 10.0, has successfully handled many dog bite cases, and provides free case evaluations for those who have been injured by a dog. More information on Law Offices of Edward Smith is available by visiting the firm's web site ( or by calling (800) 404-5400.

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