Why would a dog owner be liable for an attack?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, the owner probably told you something like “This has never happened before.” Many dog owners are very surprised when their animals attack, and they almost always claim that this behavior is out of the norm. They’re shocked that their family pet hurt anyone.

But whether they are surprised or not, that owner may be liable for the attack and responsible for directly related costs, such as lost wages or medical bills. What are some indicators that the owner is responsible that could help in your case?

The dog is known to be violent

First of all, there may have been a similar incident in the past, demonstrating that the dog has a “vicious propensity.” If the owner knew that the dog was dangerous and didn’t take reasonable steps to keep others safe, then they may be liable for those injuries. This undermines their claim that the dog’s behavior is outside of the norm.

No safety steps were taken

You also have to consider if the dog’s owner took any reasonable safety steps, whether or not they thought the dog was dangerous. For instance, if you were bitten while someone was walking their dog without a leash, they may be liable because they should have had their dog properly restrained. The same thing can be true if the dog is outside but it is not contained by a physical barrier, like a fence. If the owner didn’t even do the bare minimum that a reasonable person would do, they have acted negligently.

Seeking compensation

As noted above, a negligent dog owner may be responsible for medical bills and other costs. Be sure you know what legal steps to take to seek compensation.



FindLaw Network
Nathan A. Cobb