Have You Been Bitten by a Dog?
Dog bite law is an unusual area of law that involves many different facets of city and county ordinances, as well as state statutory, state case and common law. The entire body of dog bite law also consists of civil, criminal and administrative laws. Each has a specific purpose: civil laws govern monetary compensation for the victim, and criminal laws serve to enforce punishment on the dog owner, while administrative laws cater to the dog itself.
One of the areas The Morgan Law Office specializes in is dog attack cases. The first thing you need to know is that every state in the U.S. holds a person civilly liable for a dog bite, contingent upon the following factors: if the person ordered or made the dog attack the victim, if the person knowingly kept a dog with a violent history (bit a person in the past), or if the person kept a dog that exhibited violent tendencies.
Additionally, most states hold a person responsible when negligence results in an injury caused by the dog. This can result from general negligence or negligence per se, which is based upon the violation of a law meant to protect the well being and safety of the public. Examples of such laws include a leash law and bans against dogs running loose or trespassing. Some states are also known for enforcing premises liability law which serves to protect the victim when he/she sustains an injury on the dog owner's property.
We can tell you that dog bite statutes often vary from state to state. However, states that do not have specific laws to govern dog bites are considered one-bite states. Therefore, determining legal responsibility is typically dependent on the following factors:
Did the dog previously bite someone? (If so, the dog owner is surely accountable)
Whether the dog's previous behavior showed any inclination to bite someone in the future.
Were any laws pertaining to public health and safety violated by the dog owner/guardian at the time of the incident?
Whether the accident was caused by negligence.
Whether anyone else might be held liable as a result of their negligence or knowledge pertaining to the threat of a dog to bite people.
While most dogs are furry, fuzzy and fun-loving, the reality is that some can be quite dangerous creatures. In fact, Pit Bulls and Rottweiler's are considered to be the two most fatal attackers. If you have been victimized due to a dog attack, perhaps you should consider legal representation. The Morgan Law Office can help you determine what course of action would be in your best interest. In some cases, taking a dog bite settlement is the best option, while others may warrant a trial in court.