If a dog hurts someone because its owner didn’t take reasonable care to control the animal, the owner could be legally responsible for the injury.By
Americans love their dogs. But dogs—even the older or normally gentle variety—hurt people all the time, even by accident. When that happens, the victims generally arent shy about suing to try to get compensation for their injuries. In some of those lawsuits, the victims will argue that the dog owners are liable for the injuries because they were negligent (careless) in handling their pets.
If youve been injured by a dog—directly or indirectly—heres what you need to know:
Chains, Fences, and Warning Signs
Courts are likely to find that an owner has taken reasonable precautions if the dog is confined on the owners property with a “Beware of Dog” sign. But a warning may not always be necessary. A court found that a dogs owners werent liable for their house guests injuries when the guest fell down the stairs when the hosts dog growled from another room. The court found that the owners had taken reasonable precautions by keeping the dog behind a locked gate, and they didnt need to warn the guest about its presence. (Partipilo v. DiMaria, 570 N.E.2d 683 (Ill. Ct. App. 1991)).
The Dog’s Breed
Some courts may presume that an owner knows their dog can be dangerous because of its breed, which means that the failure to take special precautions could amount to negligence (see Poznanski v. Horvath, 788 N.E.2d 1255 (Ind. 2003)).
My Dog Is Scared of Me and 10 Things to Do About It
Dog bites are frequent incidents across the United States, though it can be difficult for dog bite victims to know their rights. This is partly because dog bite laws regarding liability and damages vary from state to state. The best way to know your rights to possible compensation through a dog bite lawsuit is to consult with a dog bite lawyer in your area as soon as possible.