Leash laws are enacted by local jurisdictions for many reasons. The case of an 80-year-old man who fell from his bicycle when a dog came into his path demonstrates one reason why leash laws matter.
In the summer of 2014, a very active 80-year-old-man was riding his bicycle. As he passed a neighbor’s house, the neighbor opened the door and allowed their dog to run into the street from their house. The dog was not on a leash and was not attended once it left the house. When the dog ran into the path of the man and his bicycle, the man fell from the bicycle. This occurred in a jurisdiction that had a local law requiring that dogs be on a leash and attended.
As a result of this incident, the man sustained fractures of the right leg, shoulder, and ribs. In addition, he sustained a concussion and severe abrasions. He was admitted to the hospital, where he underwent surgery for the leg fracture. During surgery, he went into shock due to blood loss. He remained hospitalized for nearly one week.
Over the course of the next 12 months, the man was admitted several ties for inpatient rehabilitation and for hospital care as a result of complications from his orthopedic injuries and as a result of infection due to the injuries. In addition to the fractures and the concussion, the man exacerbated pre-existing heart issues. These heart issues were complicated by the various treatments and his limited mobility during the ensuing year.
He was admitted to the hospital in December of 2015 for a heart procedure. The damage suffered from the fall from his bicycle created a complex of issues that prevented the needed heart procedure. Because the heart condition could not be treated as planned, the man died.
The personal injury case filed by his heirs was settled out of court for $1,000,000 (600,000 in medical bills).
This very unfortunate death is a sharp reminder that leash laws are enacted to protect the citizens of a jurisdiction. It is not reasonable to expect that a dog can understand or anticipate the possible results of the simple act of running free. It is important that every canine’s human understand and observe local leash laws and the reasons they are in place. It should be easy to understand why leash laws matter.
Bicyclist accidents occur for many reasons. Please do everything you can to prevent harm or death resulting from your failure to observe local leash laws.
The attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C., handle bicycle accident injury cases frequently. We also see many cases of tragic outcomes when dogs are not restrained and attended. If you or a loved one is injured by a dog or another animal, or as a result of a bicycle accident, call us. We are here to help you obtain the full legally allowable compensation for your injuries.