Millions of dogs are kept as companions or for security across the United States. Unfortunately, this also means that millions of dog bite injuries occur each year.
A dog bite injury can cause severe bodily damage and emotional trauma. Medical treatment is often needed immediately to treat the wound, and ongoing rehabilitation may be necessary depending on the extent of the injury. In many areas, dog bite statutes are in place that hold owners responsible if the bite occurred due to owner negligence.
At Peterson & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have helped thousands of injury victims hold at-fault parties accountable for the damage they cause. We recognize that it is not the dog’s fault they attacked you—it’s the fault of the owner, who provided inadequate training for or protection from their dog. The law recognizes that fact as well.
You have nothing to lose by contacting our team—we offer free legal consults and take no fee unless your case is won.
Liability Regarding a Dog Bite Injury
In the event of a dog bite injury, a dog bite lawyer uses three types of laws to establish liability. These laws are:
- Common law. Common law is also referred to as the “one-bite rule.” Under this law, an owner is considered liable for an attack if they have reason to think that their dog may bite someone. Theoretically, if a dog has bitten once, it will likely bite again. Therefore, a dog is allowed one bite before an owner is liable for the dog’s potential to be a danger. Behaviors such as growling, fighting with other dogs, aggravated barking, and snapping may also be used to demonstrate that a particular dog displays a likelihood to bite.
- Dog-bite statutes. Many states have established statutes that pertain to dog bites and other dog-related injuries, which establish liability without the dog’s owner being at fault. In this case, the owner is liable for damages whether the dog has bitten in the past or if the owner knew of the dog’s past record of biting.
- Negligence. To determine if a dog bite occurred out of owner negligence, the court weighs all case facts. This includes circumstances such as if the victim was trespassing or committing a crime, if the victim provoked the dog, if the victim behaved recklessly when the bite occurred, or if the victim knew they were putting themselves at risk of a dog attack.
Compensation for Dog Attacks
A dog bite shouldn’t be underestimated; this is a very serious issue. A dog bite victim may suffer wounds that limit their ability to work now and in the future, have extensive rehabilitation costs, and even need ongoing mental health treatment to help them cope with the effects of dog attacks.
Legal help is available to assist you in receiving compensation for the injuries you have sustained due to being bitten by someone else’s dog.
A dog bite lawyer will gather the information needed to establish liability so that you can accurately prove your case. You may be entitled to damages that cover your medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Who’s Responsible for My Dog Bite Injury?
As a dog bite victim, it can be confusing to try and determine who to hold responsible for your dog bite injury; a dog bite lawyer can assist you here. In some scenarios, the owner of the animal may not be who is accountable for the bite.
Liability may be assigned to:
- Animal keepers, if the dog is in their custody and they are responsible for the dog’s care
- Property owners, if they allowed the offending dog onto their property
- Landlords, if they knew a resident owned a vicious dog
- Parents, if a minor is the owner of the offending dog