Dog Bite Liability Rules

Dog bites have become a common cause of many personal injury lawsuits. With millions of American households having dogs for pets, the probability of suffering a dog bite has increased as well, and this is mainly because of many pet owners not knowing the needs, characteristics, and temperament of the dogs that they acquire. Poor training and lack of understanding of their needs is what can cause dogs to become aggressive and attack innocent people.

States have their own rules regarding dog laws and owner’s liability. There are, however, two main laws that generally govern over the liability of each dog owner, along with their responsibilities once their pet/pets have bitten another person:

  • The Strict Liability Rule – this rule states that every owner is responsible for any injury that their dog has done to another person. The basic premise of this rule is the simple ownership of the dog. States where this rule applies consider that even if you are not negligent of your dog, unaware of their tendencies, and have not violated any dog laws, if you have been determined to be the owner gives you the legal responsibility of compensating the person your dog have bitten.
  • The “One-Bite” Rule – states that follow this rule permits the owner of the dog to not be liable for a dog’s first dog bite or injury to another person as long as the dog owner has not been negligent in controlling the dog. However, this rule does not protect the owner from liability if the owner violates any protective dog laws such as required dog leashes, etc. Because of the many actions and behaviors that can constitute to a dog’s propensity, many states have been trying to use the Strict Liability Rule rather than this one.

Dog bites can cause not only physical pain and mental anguish to its victim; a serious dog bite can leave the victim with financial burdens that can be hard to deal with. Serious dog bites can be compensated, therefore finding a helpful and personal injury lawyer specializing in this area is the best way to help in acquiring the necessary financial help and to ensure that the dog will not be able to cause harm to others in the future.

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