Dogs are lovable creatures – except when they aren’t. When lovable Lassie starts to resemble Kujo more than America’s most endeared pet, it’s important for one to know their legal rights.
Layers of Laws
Dog bite laws are often a myriad of regulations enacted by state, federal and local governing bodies. These laws provide for compensatory relief to attack victims as well as criminal sanctions for offenders who fail to prevent an attack perpetrated by an animal in their care.
One Bite Too Many
Many authorities consider the “one-bite rule”. This rule helps to limit a pet owner’s sanctions if that owner was unaware that his or her animal was a danger to others. If the owner is aware of the dog’s dangerous proclivities preceding an attack, the owner is open to criminal and compensatory sanctions. This rule does not comprehensively shield owners from liability. Not all jurisdictions consider the one-bite rule. Some states have no dog bite statues at all.
Whose Fault is it, Anyway?
Other considerations include whether or not the attack victim was violating property lines at the time of the attack and if the animal was provoked. Individuals with temporary responsibility for another’s pet can also be held responsible for an animal that attacks.
Since regulations and case law interpretation vary widely, it is recommended to seek legal representation if you are the recipient of a dog bite. Understanding the responsibility associated with one’s situational risk is important as well as knowing the liability of the dog owner. Visit a dog bite injury attorney in Clinton to learn more about your legal rights against a dog attack here.