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Dog and Animal Bites

When someone is bitten by a dog or any other animal, they have a legal right to recover damages from the animal owner or from the responsible party who was in charge of the animal. In every animal bite case, the first thing to do is to seek medical treatment immediately. Failing to do so can cause serious injury, and can also lead to death in some cases. Once the individual has been successfully treated, they may consult a personal injury attorney to see if they have a valid case. Attorneys who have experience in animal bite cases can tell you whether or not you have a legal claim and if you will be able to recover damages or not.

The attorney will get information about the animal bite and the circumstances surrounding the attack. If the animal owner was present at the scene of the attack, or if you knew who the animal or dog belonged to, you will need to provide the name and other personal details of the owner to your attorney. In case there were witnesses present at the scene, you should get their details and information and give them to your attorney.

What liability do dog owners have?

When deciding who is responsible for the animal bite, you first have to identify the owner of the animal. Most states have “strict liability” laws in place for animal and dog bites or attacks. Under these laws, the owner of the dog or animal is legally responsible for the animal and any injury or harm it causes to someone. The owner will be held liable irrespective of the fact whether they took measures to protect others from the animal attack. Even if the owner never knew that their animal was dangerous, and even if the animal had never bitten anyone before, the dog owner will still be held liable.

Other states that do not have “strict liability” laws in place will only hold the animal or dog owner responsible if the owner knew that the animal was dangerous. Also called “dangerous propensities,” the dog or animal owner should have been aware of the dangers that the animal poses to others. This can be difficult in most cases, as proving whether or not the owner knew their dog or animal was ferocious can be tricky. The question that rises in these cases is whether the owner knew that the animal was potentially harmful or whether that particular type or breed of animal is particularly harmful. Whatever the case, it is advised to consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in representing victims in dog and animal attack cases.

In other cases, the animal or dog owner will not be held responsible for the actions of the animal if they adequately warned other people that the animal was dangerous. Similarly, if they took measures to keep the dog away from people, they will not be held responsible. In such cases, if the victim intentionally ignored the warnings and was harmed by the animal, then the victim will not be able to sue the owner and hold them responsible for the actions of their animal.


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