Dog Bite Law

Dog Bite Law: An Overview 

If you were recently injured by another person’s dog bite, then you are probably eager to learn about the possibility of pursuing a dog bite civil case against the responsible party. The fact is, the dog bite law can be complicated and potentially very challenging to navigate. Furthermore, there are many potential defenses that a dog bite attorney may raise at trial if the case ever goes to court.

In this post, we will look at some statutes that may come into play if one person’s dog attacks or otherwise injures another person, including the “dangerous dog” law and other possible defenses that dog owners may raise.

Dog Bite Law

One popular defense to the accusation of negligence involves how the dog became paralyzed in the first place. This argument is based on the idea that dogs have very unique properties that allow them to become immobile for long periods of time even when they are seriously injured. The idea is that the dog owner, or landlord, was not keeping the dog as strictly as was necessary in order to ensure the dog’s safety and hence the property was not in danger.

An argument like this could arguably hold up in court if the dog bite victim was walking through the neighborhood and was attacked by a vicious dog that became paralyzed from the attack. However, in this example, the dog owner could argue that he or she did know the dog posed a threat and did keep the dog locked up in a fenced yard when it was not expected to be roaming free.

Another common criminal defense is that the dog owner is just looking out for the dog. Even if the owner follows all of the required rules, other people should not be allowed to harm the dog. Therefore, the owner may be held liable for any injuries caused by another person who was acting in bad faith. The owner may also be liable for civil damages, even if it was not intentional that the other person was injured. A special dog bite attorney will be able to determine the best course of action for a client who believes their rights have been violated.

Dog Bite Law Legal Options

While dog bite law is complex, anyone who is faced with this situation has several legal options. First, an injury lawyer can review the case and make a recommendation to trial or plea bargaining. If the injury lawyer believes the dog owner was guilty of negligence, the client may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, physical disability or permanent damage to the dog.

Sometimes, victims are eligible for more than just compensation. For example, if the attack caused the victim’s death or permanent disability, they may be eligible to collect damages that are consistent with the extent of the victim’s injury.

In order to prove the dog’s negligence, the victim must show that the owner knew the dog was inherently dangerous and that it caused the attack. Proof of that will likely require the presence of an expert witness. Such a witness must show that the dog is inherently dangerous and that the owner knew the dog posed a real and present threat of harm. This evidence is usually referred to as evidence of a strict liability.

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