Did you know that if a dog bites you, then you can file a personal injury claim? Yes, you can get the compensation you deserve if a dog bites you because dog owners are responsible for the acts of their dogs, as outlined by the law that clearly states the civil and criminal liabilities of dog owners. If your pet hurts someone, then be ready to compensate the victim, who might claim compensation for the injuries caused by dog bites.
According to Carlson Meissner’s injury lawyer in St. Petersburg, dog owners must prevent their pets from harming others as it is a part of the legal responsibility placed upon them. The same applies if the dog damages the properties of other people.
The dog owner must compensate the underdog attack victim by reimbursing the medical expenses incurred for treating the victim and the cost of pain and suffering and time lost from work. Having a dog owner’s liability insurance policy can save do owners from paying out of pocket.
Liability of dog owners
Typically, dog bites lead to civil lawsuits that dog owners have to face if the dog bites or injures someone, provided the circumstances match with any one of the following.
- The state must have laws about dog bites, and most states have liability dog laws enforced for the benefit of its residents. The laws make dog owners financially responsible for dog bites and other injuries without considering the dog’s history or carless on the part of the dog owner.
- The victim must prove that the dog owner was aware of the dog’s aggressive behavior and its tendency to hurt or injure others. States that do not have strict liability dog bite laws depend on the ‘one bite rule’ principle to hold dog owners responsible. It makes the owners responsible for injuries if they know the dog’s ability to hurt others.
- The victim must prove that negligence on the part of the dog owner caused the injury. It means that the dog owner was careless and left a gate open that allowed the animal to run out and bite the postman or violated a local leash law.
The only protection available to the dog owner is the legal defense for dog bites and other injuries. All state laws limit the liability of the dog owners if the dog bite victim is partially at fault. However, whether the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing are points to consider by dog owners that could let them off the hook.
Do dog owners have criminal liability?
Most states with dangerous dog laws require the owners to take special precautions if there is any precedence about the dog’s aggression that has threatened or injured someone. If the dog poses too much risk for causing serious harm, then the court may even order the owner to euthanize the dog.
Only when the dog attack turns fatal for the victim because of the owner’s carelessness, which is very rare, that owners may face charges of manslaughter or some similar charges.