3 Ways An Owner May Be Liable For A Dog Bite

Law Blog

Were you recently bitten by a dog? If so, it was likely a scary and painful experience. It may have even caused injuries that required serious medical attention or forced you to miss time at work. You may be able to take legal action to pursue compensation for your injuries.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the bite, it's possible that the dog's owner could be financially responsible for the incident. Here are three criteria that generally establish liability. If the situation fits into any of these, you likely have a good chance of obtaining compensation:

The owner had reason to believe the dog could cause injury. This is one of the most common causes of liability. Very often, dogs who bite or viciously scratch have a history of doing so. Sometimes, owners choose to ignore these warning signs, possibly because they're attached to the dog and hope it won't happen again. However, if the dog repeats the behavior and it leads to injury, the owner is often found liable because he or she didn't take the necessary action to prevent injury.

In some states, this rule can apply to certain breeds that have aggressive tendencies. For example, in some states, an owner of a pit bull may need to be aware that the dog could be aggressive, even if that specific dog hasn't shown signs of aggression in the past.

The state has an owner liability rule. In these cases, the liability is pretty clear cut. Some states have laws that state that an owner is always liable for a dog's behavior, even if the aggressive behavior was completely unpredictable. If you live in one of these states, you'll likely be able to file a suit and reach a resolution fairly quickly. If there's no question about the dog causing the injuries and who the dog's owner is, there's not much room for dispute in these cases.

The owner was negligent. This largely has to do with how the dog was secured at the time of the incident. If you were attacked while walking down the sidewalk, a court may want to know why the dog was able to access the sidewalk. Did it somehow get off its leash? Or was it simply allowed to roam the neighborhood? If the owner was negligent in his or her efforts to secure the dog, then they can likely be held liable.

If you are attacked, it's important that you document as much as possible. Get the names of the owners and any witnesses. Also, be sure to see a doctor so your injuries can be recorded. With that information, a personal injury lawyer like True Guarnieri Ayer LLP can help you file a suit.


6 January 2015

injured at work? what do you do now?

Were you injured at work and fighting to get the workers compensation that you have paid into each year? Sometimes, getting those payments can be very difficult. What do you do when an employer fights the claim? Do you need a lawyer to help you through the process? How will you pay for a lawyer if you cannot even pay your electric bill? You are probably as lost as I was when I went through the process. Fortunately, you can learn from my experience with the system and find the answers to many of the questions that you have about filing a workers comp claim and fighting the system when it is denied.