What is a Dog Bite Accident Injury? 

A dog may be man’s best friend but when he’s unsupervised, anything can happen, including a vicious dog bite. Every year, countless dog bite cases are reported throughout the U.S. with small children as the most common victims of a dog attack. While minor dog bites heal with time, a vicious attack can leave a person with serious injuries.

It is the dog owner’s responsibility to make sure their dogs are properly kept fenced in yards or on a leash while the dog is being walked. When dog owners fail to keep their dogs restrained or fail to exercise caution with their beloved pet around others, the owner’s actions are negligent and place the general public at great risk.

Owner Liability

In deciding who is responsible for a dog bite, the first thing to determine is who owns it. Some states impose what is known as “strict liability” on people whose dogs bite or attack others. An owner is legally responsible, or liable, for an animal bite regardless of whether the owner did anything wrong with respect to protecting others from attack. Even if the owner had no reason to know that his or her animal was dangerous, if the animal bit someone, the owner would still be liable. In other states, a dog owner can be held liable for the injuries his or her pet inflicts, provided that the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog had “dangerous propensities.” In other words, if an animal owner knows that his or her animal is dangerous and could cause injury to a person, the animal owner can be held liable for the animal’s harmful actions.

Determining whether an owner knew of his or her dog’s “dangerous propensities” can be difficult. The first question that often arises in making this determination is whether the owner needs to know of the dog’s potential for harm, or whether the owner only needs to know that type of animal is potentially harmful.

Dog owners are not the only ones who can be held responsible for a dog bite. A few common scenarios where someone other than the dog’s owner can be held liable include:

  • Dog Keepers: Anyone who is responsible for the care or custody of a dog may be considered an owner or keeper and can be held responsible for a bite. Examples include kennels, a pound, or an animal sitter.
  • Parents of Minors: Even if a person under 18 years of age owns the dog at issue, in many states an injured person can bring a legal claim against the minor’s parents, even if the parents had no direct involvement with the animal.
  • Property Owners: A property owner can be liable for injuries caused by an animal that the property owner allowed onto his or her property.
  • Landlords: If an apartment landlord knew (or should have known) that a tenant owned a dangerous dog, the landlord may also be liable for dog bite injuries.

Bite-related Damages

Depending on the seriousness of injuries resulting from an animal attack, a person injured by the bite of a dangerous dog may be entitled to recover:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Property damage.

In some instances, the person may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are awarded to punish someone for his or her behavior. To justify an award of punitive damages, the wrongdoer’s conduct usually must be more than negligent, such as reckless or intentional conduct. For example, if a dog owner knew his dog was very dangerous, yet repeatedly allowed the dog to run free near a school, and the dog eventually attacked a child, a jury could conclude that punitive damages were appropriate.

We Can Help

If you have suffered an injury caused by a dog bite, The Personal Injury Help Center can help you find the help and resources you need. Our network of personal injury lawyers, experts and professionals strive for justice and fairness in the form of compensation for victims of dog bites.

We are dedicated to seeking justice and fair financial compensation for those who are facing a future that has been forever altered by the negligent act of another. When you are looking to file an injury claim, you need to know that you have the best working on your side.

Over the years, our team has been successful in recovering rightly-owed compensation in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. This is a testimony to our ability to help our clients in some of the most complex injury litigation.

When filing a dog bite injury claim, you only have one opportunity to secure a settlement; once you accept an offer, you cannot turn around to get more money if you realize that it will not cover the extent of the damages. To help you better understand what the settlement should cover, the team at The Personal Injury Help Center will help you:

Make sure your injury claim covers all of your medical expenses. This includes hospital bills, rehabilitation, future medical costs, costs of medication, future doctor visits, caretaker costs, and reconstructive surgery.

Make sure the settlement covers monetary damages. This includes property damage or car damage, lost earnings and wages, and future loss of earnings.

Make sure you are compensated for other miscellaneous damages. These include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and out of pocket expenses.

To learn more about Dog Bite Injury claims and find out how you can obtain compensation for the injuries that you have sustained in any type of accident, complete the Free Case Evaluation form.