Determination of Liability For Dog Attack

Not every person that has become the target of a pet canine’s teeth has chosen to sue the pet’s owner. What factors enter into a determination of the party that should be held liable for any injuries that were caused by a dog attack?

Each of the state laws that regulate owners’ ability to control their dogs fall into one of 2 categories

One-bile laws: These provide a dog’s owner with freedom from liability at the time of the first attack.

—The one-bite rule applies, unless the owner has received notice about the pet canine’s earlier behavior.
—The owner of a pet canine could be held liable, if the pet’s first attack had reflected the identified characteristics of the canine’s breed.
—A judge would assess the defendant’s ability to control his or her dog. An owner’s failure to utilize precautionary measures could push a judge to place a liability charge on a canine that had lunged at a stranger for the first time.

Strict liability laws: These place less of a burden on the plaintiff.

—Plaintiff must only show that the victim was allowed on the owner’s property, and that the victim did not provoke the pet canine.
—In some states, enforcement of strict liability laws only takes place when the attack took place on public property.
—Victims that might encounter a challenge to a potential lawsuit could check to see if there was evidence of negligence on the part of the dog owner.

The typical defense strategy for the owner of a pet canine, if it has attacked a stranger

• Produce evidence of measures that were used to control the dog’s movement
• Produce witness that saw the defendant carrying out a provocative act, while in proximity of the aggressive pet.
• If victim were a self-employed businessperson, a defense strategy might involve seeking verifiable proof of the victim’s expected earnings.

A seldom-used defense strategy for dogs’ owners

Claiming that the defendant undertook to perform an aggressive action after becoming the target of an attack. Personal Injury Lawyer in Gloucester knows that the victims are not allowed to inflict harm on any animal that has lunged at them.

Someone that was carrying a weapon at the time of an attack would not have legal grounds for using the same weapon on the 4-legged attacker.

A weakness in the existing laws

While the rules that apply to dogs’ owners are supposed to apply to anyone in control of a canine, there is no mention of rules for those that elect to shelter a canine. The sheltered animal may not be subject to any controlling measures. Who would be liable if the uncontrolled animal were to attack someone that happened to pass by the temporary shelter?