Tuesday, August 21, 2012

AM I RESPONSIBLE IF MY DOG BITES SOMEONE?


AM I RESPONSIBLE IF MY DOG BITES SOMEONE?

If you own a dog, you may have wondered what would happen if your dog were to bite someone—would you be responsible? The short answer is 'probably.' But there can be a myriad of extenuating circumstances. Was the individual who was bitten trespassing? Was your dog provoked? Even the state in which you live can determine the degree of your liability, if any.

In Lancaster, lawyers at R. Rex Parris law firm know how complex a dog bite can become, and we're here to guide you through the maze. It can be quite complex. A dog bite lawsuit not long ago involved a pet belonging to television talk show host Dr. Phil; the dog bite lawsuit that was filed spoke to the complexity that can be involved in such a case—especially when there is an injury claim. Was the dog startled? Did an antibiotic taken by the dog bite victim lead to hearing loss? These are not necessarily the types of questions you'd think would come up from a "simple dog bite" case.
But first things first: if you own a dog, you are ultimately responsible for your dog. If your dog winds up biting someone, Central Insurance Companies and the Humane Society suggest that your dog is confined immediately so a subsequent bite can't occur. Check on the victim's condition and assist in seeking medical help, if needed.
The dog bite victim may be interested in knowing the date of your dog's most recent rabies vaccination. This is an appropriate request that is both necessary if any medical attention is needed, and helpful in calming any fears the victim may have.
If an animal control officer becomes involved, the lawyers at R. Rex Parris law firm suggest you co-operate fully. After all, a dog bite can be a serious issue for a victim, both physically and emotionally. This is further exacerbated when a child is involved.
However, it is still very important to consult a qualified legal professional to apprise you of your rights. For example, it's one thing if you own a breed that's classified as a dangerous dog (a Pit Bull, for example) and fail to take the necessary steps to warn—such as keeping the dog properly confined, or warning passersby with appropriate signage, such as 'Beware of Dog.'
That said, if the bite victim trespassed on your property, or provoked the dog without cause, you might face limited if not minimal liability.
Rules and bylaws governing dogs—and dog bites—can vary according to the state in which you live. And there are a myriad of other factors, such as how the dog was bred, how it was socialized and what obedience training (if any) might have been provided. Are signs of neglect and abuse, present?
Dog training is an art and best left to professionals who understand the 'Alpha' concept that is often the difference between an obedient dog and one that rules the roost, with sometimes tragic consequences. What's more, according to our attorneys who--are also dog owners--dogs tend to play with their mouths. And they generally have to be taught early on the difference between 'playing' with their mouths, and inflicting harm in a perceived effort to protect, or defend turf.
It's quite possible that a perceived dog bite wasn't a bite at all, but rather an aggressive form of play.
At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for your dog. But your liability for an alleged dog bite may vary, according to the circumstances.
Dog bites, regardless of severity, can be nasty both for you as the dog owner, and the victim. But dog bites do happen. And when they do, you may need to find an attorney, as the fallout can be unnerving and the outcome complex in the absence of expert guidance by a dog bite attorney or a lawyer who's conversant with dog bite laws as well as your individual circumstances.
A consultation with our attorneys can help guide you through the complexities of a dog bite lawsuit—and it could mean the difference between relief, and heartbreak.

3 comments:

  1. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    dog bite attorneys

    ReplyDelete
  2. This responsibility comes with dog ownership. You are right about the allegations though. As much as you are concerned with the victim, there are circumstances when your dog might only be mistaken for another. This doesn’t mean refusing to help right away either. Things can get complicated. So, if you’re not up to this kind of deal, be responsible in raising a good, yet reliable dog.

    ReplyDelete