People Owning Vicious Animals Have Had to Face Manslaughter Charges
Interviewer: Could the owner say that they were being neglectful with the dog and that’s one of the main reasons that the dog attacked?
Richard Sailer: I haven’t seen them because I can’t imagine that somebody would raise a defense to a civil suit for neglecting their animal. However, there were a couple of very high profile criminal prosecutions, even on manslaughter charges, for people that have had vicious animals that have killed people.
Notable Case Study of a Dog Bite Lawsuit in California
Interviewer: What would you say is one of the more unique cases you’ve had or if you can recall something that had a pretty bad injury?
Richard Sailer: In terms of a bad injury, I had a case several years ago where a young lady actually had her nose bitten off by a Pit Bull. It was at a family birthday party and the victim just knelt down to pat the dog. The dog, for whatever reason, lunged at her and bit her nose. Surprisingly, this was a dog that was known to the victim. That was a very unique situation because the dog owner was a family member and that created a little bit of disharmony in the family unit. It was the kind of a situation where the family picked sides and half of the family supported the victim and half of the family supported the dog owner. It wasn’t until they got an attorney involved and realized that it’s something that can be resolved through the insurance and that there is no need for personal involvement. We were able to successfully move the case forward and get the client compensation.
The Victim May Suffer Lifelong Consequences as a Result of a Dog Attack
Interviewer: How long was her recovery period?
Richard Sailer: She’ll be dealing with permanent injuries for her entire life. She had undergone several reconstructive surgeries and had very good results. However, it’s something that will continue to affect her throughout of her life.
Interviewer: Do you think someone that would go to a situation like that would experience like sort of mental anguish throughout their lives, forever in fear of dogs?
Richard Sailer: Yes. That would definitely be a situation where you’d even expect to see at least some level of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pictures of an Injury and the Aftermath Can Add Much Value to a Dog Bite Claim
Interviewer: Do you think it’s a good idea for someone to take pictures?
Richard Sailer: I can’t tell you how much value can be added to a case when we’ve got a photo actually taken at the scene of the bite with blood, the bloody sidewalk with open wound, pictures at the hospital when they opened the wound up to clean it, etc. If they shoot a couple of pictures once it’s sewn up, it doesn’t have the emotional impact of a bloody, mangled photo. If you have photos, the nastier it looks, the more sharp it will be with the jury, and the more inclined they’ll be to award for damages.