What Should a Dog Bite Victim Know About Dog-Bite Laws?

Generally, the law holds pet owners responsible for the actions of their pets. Dog owners, in particular, should be aware of the law regarding liability for dog bites and other injuries. Dog owners are not necessarily always at fault and may have defenses.

What is the Law Regarding Dog Bites?

Many states have enacted “dog-bite” statutes which make dog owners “strictly liable” for any injuries caused by their dog while the victim is in a public place or lawfully on the property of the dog owner. This means that the dog owner may be liable for damages even if the dog has never previously bitten or injured anyone.

barking dog going to bite

Vicious Dog Statutes

Many states have also enacted “vicious dog” statutes which allow a judge or an animal control officer to declare a particular dog vicious. This is significant because some states make it illegal to own such dogs, while others allow ownership as long as the dog is securely confined or muzzled while in public.

One Bite Rule

Some states still apply the “one bite rule” which shields dog owners from civil and criminal liability the first time the dog injures a person. However, many states have adopted dog-bite statutes which have substantially replaced this rule, rendering it obsolete for those states.

Several Precautions a Dog Owner Can Take:

  • Know the state and local laws
  • Know the pet’s temperament
  • Keep the pet out of the path of strangers
  • Keep vaccinations current

Potential Areas of Compensation for a Victim of a Dog Bite

  • Medical treatment such as first aid, emergency room, hospital, and ambulance \
  • Future medical treatment for scar reduction or disfigurement
  • Psychological counseling
  • Loss of earnings
  • Torn clothing and broken glasses
  • Medication
  • Pain and Suffering

If you or someone you know has been hurt by a dog due to the negligence of others, call or text Blair Lane, Sr. to schedule a free consultation at 610-472-1008.