Dog owners are required by law to vaccinate their dogs and keep them leashed while in public. These preventive measures are meant to protect others occupying the same public space. Small children at the most common victims of dog bites. Dogs can be unpredictable and aggravated by sudden movements in the environments. When animals detect potential threats even if they are harmful they may act erratically and harm people in close proximity. Dog bites not only break skin and draw blood they can also pass on rabies or cause other infections. If you have been the victim of a dog bite you may be able to receive compensation. Before you decide to seek legal counsel you may have questions. Listed below are the most FAQ questions concerning dog bites.
1. If a “Beware of Dog” sign is posted is the owner still responsible?
If an owner has posted a “Beware of Dog” sign they may not be held liable for your injury. This is usually dependent on the circumstances surrounding the attack.
2. What type of compensation can I receive for a dog bite?
Compensation can cover:
- the cost of medical bills
- loss of wages or income
- pain and suffering, both present and future
- the cost of plastic surgery if the injury causes physical disfigurement
- emotional counseling if necessary
3. What are leash laws?
Most communities establish certain rules dog owners must adhere to. If your dog is in a public space you must keep your pet leashed. If your dog is unleashed and attacks someone this will most likely strengthen the victim’s case. These rules usually do not apply if your dog is fenced in your yard or property.
4. What is the one free bite rule?
Some states operate under the “one free bite rule”. This means that the owner is not held responsible for the first bite. If the dog continues to engage this type of behavior then the owner accepts responsibility. After the first bite the dog may be separated from the owner and from there more serious action may be taken.
5. What is strict liability?
While some states use the “one free bite” rule other states now operate under “strict liability”. Strict liability means that owners accept complete responsibility even if the animal has not displayed violent behavior in the past.
6. What type of insurance is covered by dog bites?
In most cases homeowners insurance usually covers dog bites. Insurance companies are expected to carefully and throughly investigate each dog bite claim.
7. Are dog owners liable for trespassers?
Again, liability is dependent on the particular circumstances of the case. However in many cases dog owners are not held responsible for trespassers that have been bitten by the dog.
If you have been the victim of a dog attack, contact us at Kyle Law Firm for a free consultation.