Dog injuries are more common than you might think. According to the Centers
for Disease and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs
every year in the United States, 800,000 of which require medical attention.
Typically the dog’s owner is responsible for covering the medical
bill since he or she has a legal responsibility to prevent the dog from
injuring others or damaging property. Even if the incident occurs off
the owner’s property, his or her homeowner’s or renter’s
insurance policy might cover the cost of compensating you. The owner might
also be required to take measures to stop a similar incident from occurring
again. If an owner was particularly negligent and knew of the dog’s
aggressive nature, but allowed it to run loose, he or she might also face
a jail sentence.
Here are some more details and examples of liability in dog bite cases:
- The one-bite rule: An owner is legally responsible for an injury caused
by a dog if he or she knew the dog has a tendency to bite or is prone
to aggressive and violent behavior. Your attorney would have to prove
the owner knew the dog posed a danger to others. For example, a man in
New Jersey was scratched by a dog, sued the owner and won. His personal
injury attorney used the one-bite theory, proving the owner knew the dog
had a tendency to jump up and scratch people.
- The state has a dog-bite statute: Some states have dog-bite laws that make
dog owners responsible for the injuries their pets cause regardless if
they had knowledge of an animal’s tendency to cause injury or not.
For example, if a woman was at a park with her dog and it bites a child,
it would not matter if the dog never exhibited this behavior or if she
was not being careless. The state would still make her financially responsible
for the injuries it caused.
- The dog owner was unreasonably careless: If the dog bite injury was caused
by an owner’s carelessness, he or she might be held liable. For
example, if a man put his new dog out in the backyard, but forgot to lock
the gate and the dog proceeded to run out and bite the mail carrier, he
would be liable for negligence. It does not matter if he was aware of
the dog’s violent tendencies since it was the owner’s negligence
that caused the incident to occur.
In some cases, someone other than the dog owner might be liable for any
injuries. If someone besides the owner was taking care of or controlling
the dog or if the owner is under 18, another party or more than one party
might be responsible for your injuries. It is important to consult a personal
injury attorney to fully understand your rights and ensure you obtain
maximum compensation for damages.
Greenville Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured by a dog, you might be eligible to seek
compensation from the owner. At Christian & Davis LLC, our dedicated
personal injury team is committed to representing those who have been
harmed or injured due to the irresponsibility or negligence of others.
Our Greenville legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf
of our clients and can ensure your injury claim is aggressively put forth
before the law.
Do not hesitate to begin fighting for the compensation you deserve and
need to move forward with your recovery.
Contact us today at (864) 408-8890 to schedule a free consultation.