February 7, 2023

Accidental Dog Bites: How Can Pet Owners Defend Themselves?

Even if your dog is amiable and has never displayed symptoms of aggression, anything could cause them to bite someone in response. You’ll most likely feel anxious, angry, and possibly even astonished if your dog bites someone. What does this entail for your dog, you might be wondering? Can they be taken from you or put down?

After the dog bite, it’s crucial to act swiftly and take appropriate measures. In most cases, dog owners are liable if their animals bite or otherwise harm people ( by knocking them over or other similar instances). 

This means that a victim of a dog bite may submit a dog bite insurance claim. Or they can bring legal action against the dog’s owner to recover damages for losses caused by the attack, including medical costs.

However, the dog owner’s liability may be diminished or eliminated. This is because a dog bite lawyer can help prove that the attacked person making the claim:

  • Provoked the dog
  • He/she was trespassing or otherwise breaking the law at the time of the injury
  • Voluntarily ran the risk of being hurt by the dog
  • Cannot prove they were bitten; or contributed to the injury by being unreasonable and careless

Proving Liability in a Dog Bite Case

According to several dog bite and negligence statutes, it is the owner’s responsibility to keep their dog from harming others. This applies to visitors, employees who are on their property, and those who are out in public.

Dog bite legal defenses are difficult and subject to a wide range of state-by-state variations. You should seriously consider speaking with a dog bite lawyer .This is especially true if you are contemplating legal action for the alleged damage your dog is accused of having caused.

A competent dog bite lawyer in this field can help safeguard your rights. They do this by thoroughly outlining a dog bite suit that applies to your case and state.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Dog owners need to know why a dog might bite someone. Dogs typically bite people when they feel threatened, and also dogs when playing. They could bite to defend themselves, their pack, or their territory. 

Nevertheless, domesticated dogs have the instinct to bite as part of their repertoire. The following are some reasons as to why a dog might bite:

  • Startling a dog, abruptly waking one up, or sneaking up behind one (like small children tend to do)
  • Intentionally inflicting any kind of injury on a dog, be it a minor injury or not or even whilst playing. This might provoke a dog and turn the playful situation into an aggressive one
  • Dogs that are scared may try to bite anyone who approaches (this is commonly seen in abused or abandoned dogs)
  • Ailment, injury, or unwellness. A dog may not want to be approached if they are hurt.

What Does the Law Say About Dog Bites and What Does It Mean for Your Pet?

It’s crucial to learn about the local regulations so you’ll be prepared should a dog attack occur. In most cases, the following will be true:

  • You’ll have to provide documentation of your dog’s rabies immunization.
  • Your dog can be classified as a “dangerous dog” based on the severity of the bite and its past. The dog is then placed under quarantine for an extended period.
  • If your dog is deemed dangerous, the harm was severe, or a fatality occurred, the law can demand that your dog be put down. You can be charged with a crime, receive a fine, or both. This can be prevented by seeking the help of a qualified dog bite lawyer.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Bites Someone?

As soon as your dog bites someone, you should do the following:

  • Get your dog out of the area.
  • Seek the assistance of a qualified dog bite lawyer
  • Take care of the bite victim. Help them by assisting them as they gently clean the wound with warm, soapy water. Make medical arrangements for them and, if required, send for an ambulance.
  • Exchange contact information and provide information about your insurance.
  • Notify local authorities of the incident, and get in touch with your veterinarian for any records of treatment that may be required.

Who Is a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer and How Can They Represent Dog Owners?

A lawyer who represents victims in dog bite-related cases is known as a dog bite injury lawyer. They can help represent dog owners during a dog bite lawsuit. 

They can also help dog owners who need help dealing with the insurance company after a bite. Dog bite lawyers also help dog owners who need assistance with recovering damages after their pet is bitten by another dog.

What a Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help Prove in a Dog Bite Lawsuit to Win Cases for a Dog Owner ?

  1. Provocation

A typical argument is that the victim of the attack provoked the dog before it bit them. If the injured person provoked the animal, for example, by beating or taunting it, or by making an angry gesture,the dog owner will almost certainly be off the hook. 

Dog bite lawyers can help dog bite owners prove this in a case.

  1. Prove the Injured Person Was Aware of the Dog’s Potential for Harm

Dog bite lawyers can help demonstrate that the injured party was aware of the dog’s potential for harm but chose to take that risk regardless. The dog owner may be able to escape legal responsibility in this case.

The dog bite lawyer might assert that you are at least partially to blame for your injuries in some circumstances. For instance, your potential to recover damages may be diminished or eliminated if the owner gave you reasonable warnings about their dog and you disregarded those cautions.

  1. Prove That a Bite Did Not Occur

Many times, when a dog becomes upset or aggressive, it may snap at or appear to try to bite a human. However, in some cases, there is never any actual contact between the dog’s teeth and the person’s body.

A claimant or plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that they have incurred harm for their dog bite insurance claim or lawsuit. A dog bite lawyer can help prove that no bite occurred in a dog bite suit.

Even if a dog exhibits aggressive behavior in a particular circumstance, the owner may be able to avoid liability if no bite happens. This is particularly true if a state law bases a dog owner’s liability on whether or not a bite occurred.

  1. Prove the Person Was Not Injured and Was Trespassing

When dogs attack trespassers, owners are typically not held responsible. Again, the laws differ based on the jurisdiction and the basis for the lawsuit. Qualified dog bite lawyers can help defend against this.

  1. They Can Help Prove the Injured Person Was Careless

Dog bite lawyers can help prove some kind of “comparative negligence” to reduce the victims’ compensation in line with their percentage of fault.

Conclusion

The good news is that dog attacks can be avoided, especially if you are aware of your dog’s propensity for biting or what tends to set them off. Make a strategy with your vet to understand your dog’s behavior. Furthermore, determining whether they require professional training or socialization sessions is vital. 

Additionally, it’s crucial to reward your dog for being well-behaved. However,if a dog bite incident should occur, there is a need for qualified dog bite lawyers. They help defend your dog’s bite cases.

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