A postal worker in San Diego County has died after being mauled by a pit bull four days earlier.  According to KTLA news, the 59-year-old victim, Diane Jansen of Sun City, was bitten by a pit bull while on her normal route last Thursday, and she died Sunday from a stroke while at Palomar Medical Center.  Jansen was bitten by the dog on both of her legs while doing her job on Carlann Lane and E. Washington Avenue in Escondido.  The dog reportedly came from a house through an open garage door.  According to the news article, when emergency responders arrived at the scene, Jansen developed slurred speech and became unresponsive, and she was transported to the hospital where she was diagnosed with bleeding on the brain.  From there, her condition worsened, and she died four days later, from a combination of the pit bull attack and heart disease.

See the KTLA news article HERE.

This tragic incident demonstrates just how serious a dog attack can be.  When a vicious dog attacks someone with a pre-existing condition, the outcome can be devastating to the victim and their family.  In this situation, the dog owner is strictly liable for the injuries sustained and even the death.  Under California law, a dog owner is strictly liable when their animal bites someone, regardless of whether or not the owner knew the dog was vicious and even if it had bitten no one in the past.  Beyond that, if the dog bites someone particularly susceptible to injury or death, the responsibility falls on dog owner as they take the victim as they find them.  It is no excuse that perhaps the average person would not have been as badly injured or died.  So long as the dog bite was a "substantial factor" in causing the fatality, the dog owner is liable for wrongful death.  While no amount of money can return the victim to their family, the surviving family members are entitled to be compensated for the loss of the society, care, comfort, love and affection occasioned by the wrongful death.

Compensation for the victims of serious dog bites should be an important concern for all Californians.  When someone is bitten and seriously injured or killed, the dog’s owner should be held accountable for all of the injuries and damages suffered by the victim and their family.   An Orange County dog bite attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.   Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family member been the victim of a serious dog bite?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.