In most cases, the owner is legally responsible for a
dog bite injury. While every state has its own laws on this issue, most impose
strict liability for dog bite injuries on the owner. But, as with all
legal claims, there are some situations where liability can be avoided.
In other words, a dog owner is not always responsible.
The victim provoked the dog
There are some cases where a dog owner can show that his beloved pet was
provoked into attacking someone. Some courts have found that hitting or
teasing a dog will constitute provocation, taking the blame from the owner.
Provocation isn't always intentional, but in accidental cases of provocation,
the owner may still be liable if it can be shown that the owner knew his
dog was easily provoked but took no steps to avoid the situation.
The victim accepted the risk of being injured
We've all seen the “Beware of Dog” signs in our neighborhoods.
If you see that sign and still venture into your neighbor's yard,
you may be accepting the risk of being bitten by the neighbor's dog.
You were warned. Similarly, there are certain occupations that place people
at risk for dog bites, i.e. veterinarians, dog groomers and kennel owners.
Most states presume that these professionals voluntarily accept the risk
of being bitten.
The victim was trespassing onto the dog owner's property
In nearly every state, a dog owner is not liable to someone who trespasses
on someone else's property and is subsequently injured by a dog on
that property. However, in a few states, landowners are required to warn
people to stay off their property with "No Trespassing" signs
or locked gates. Without those precautions, the property owner may be
considered by the court to have given an "implied invitation"
to the public.
If you have questions regarding a personal injury matter,
contact us online or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC at (205) 381-4787.