A dog owner is legally responsible for their animal and must take reasonable precautions to prevent others from being bitten by their dog. If a dog does bite someone, the animal's owner may be responsible for paying the victim's injury-related expenses, including compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages.
Regardless of where the dog bite occurs, the owner's home insurance policy or renter's insurance may compensate the injured parties. Still, the dog bite victim may need to hire a personal injury lawyer to recover their damages.
Here are a few details about dog bites injuries.
When Is a Dog Owner Liable?
The dog owner is deemed liable if a dog bite occurs due to the owner's negligence. Thus, if a bite occurs because the owner does not have their animal on a leash or forgets to close a gate that encloses their animal, the owner may be responsible for the victim's damages. Still, in some states, a dog owner may be held responsible even if they have not exercised any obvious negligence.
Dog owners may also be responsible if their dog has shown signs of aggression or a tendency to bite. If a dog has bitten someone before, the dog owner may be liable for any subsequent bites.
When Is a Dog Owner Not Liable?
A dog owner may not be held liable if the bite victim was provoking the animal at the time of the bite. Additionally, if the dog bit the victim while they were trespassing on the dog owner's property, the owner may not be responsible for damages.
What Should a Dog Bite Victim Do After They Are Injured?
If you are bitten by a dog, you should do the following:
- Take photos. If you have a cell phone or camera handy, photograph the site where the dog bite occurred. The pictures may help prove the liability of the dog's owner by displaying signs of negligence, such as an open fence.
- Obtain the dog owner's contact and insurance information. Even if you are unsure of whether or not you will pursue compensation, it is best to have the dog owner's name and number. If the dog owner has insurance that could cover your damages, get that information as well.
- Obtain the contact information of potential witnesses. If there were bystanders or others nearby at the time of your injury, you may need their testimony to corroborate your claims of what transpired at the time of your injury.
- Seek Medical Treatment. Quickly seek medical treatment to ensure that records are created to detail your injuries.
If you have been bitten by a dog, schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney firm, like Steeg & Glista PC.