In most cases, liability for dog bites is based on who assumed responsibility
for the animal and whether that person knew the dog had a propensity to
bite. While it is usually true that the dog's owner is responsible,
there are certain situations where someone else may also be liable if
a dog injures someone.
Parties who may potentially be liable for a dog bite injury
The facts of every case are different, and in some situations, more than
one person may be responsible. For instance, if the dog was owned by a
minor, the parents can also be held responsible. If the dog happened to
be on someone else's property at the time of the attack, and the property
owner was negligent in not having the dog removed, the property owner
may be liable. In some cases, a person may be taking care of someone else's
dog or had physical control over the dog. That could be the basis of liability, as well.
What are “Keepers” or “Harborers?”
Many states also consider an individual who harbors or keeps a dog to be
equally responsible if the dog injures someone. A “keeper”
or “harborer” is a person who has care, custody or control
of the dog, but is not actually the legal owner. This status typically
does not apply to someone who simply gives a stray dog a meal, or has
the occasional presence of a dog in their yard. Under most state laws,
a groomer or kennel owner is considered a keeper. So, if a dog escapes
from an animal shelter and injures someone, the shelter may be held responsible.
If you have questions regarding dog bite injuries, or any other personal
injury matters, contact us
online or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC at (205) 381-4787.