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Dog Bite Injuries: Who is Legally Responsible?

Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Dogs Vets

Dog Bite Injuries: Who is Legally Responsible?


Dog bites can range from relatively minor to severe or life-threatening. When the bite or attack leads to hospital bills and other expenses, it may be possible to receive compensation from the dog’s owner.

The key is determining if the owner is legally responsible for the situation, as there are situations where the owner may not be found liable.

Anyone injured by a dog should talk to a lawyer to find out if they can obtain compensation for injuries and other damages.


Talk to a Lawyer About the Case

The key to understanding legal responsibility for a dog bite is to speak with a lawyer about the case. They are familiar with local laws and can review the details of the case, then let their client know if a lawsuit is possible.


A lawyer can then guide the client through all of the steps needed to gain compensation from the liable party. Anyone who has been bitten by a dog can schedule a consultation with a lawyer to learn more about their own case.


How the Dog Bite Occurred

How the dog bite occurred can have an impact on liability. The dog should be under the owner’s control at all times. If it is not, and it ends up biting someone, the owner could be held liable. This may not apply in other situations, though.

Those who have been bitten by a dog should write down exactly how the bite occurred as soon as possible after the incident so they can talk to a lawyer and determine if the owner may be liable.

Owner Liability

Owners of dogs must keep their pets on a leash at all times when not on private property or in a leash-free dog park. Local leash laws will determine when a dog needs to be on a leash and when it can run without one.

If the owner of the dog does not have it on a leash, and the dog bites someone, it is likely the owner is liable and will owe compensation to the person who was injured.

The owner may also be liable if someone on their property with permission is bitten by a dog because it is presumed the dog is under the owner’s control when inside the house and not on a leash.

Victim Liability

There are times when the victim can be liable for the injuries. In these cases, the victim will not be able to receive compensation from the owner of the dog. Depending on the situation, the victim may even end up owing the owner compensation for any vet bills if the dog was injured in the incident.

Victims may be liable if they are breaking the law when they are bitten, such as someone who is trespassing on a property or trying to break into a house.

Victims can also be held liable if they instigated the incident by intentionally provoking the dog even after it growled or showed other signs that it may bite.

If you’ve been injured because of a dog bite, you may have a claim for compensation against the dog’s owner. Take the time to speak with a lawyer today to learn more about your case and whether it will be possible to receive compensation for any injuries or other damages.


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