If a dog bites someone on your property, they may try to take legal action against you. Of course, nothing is more important than dog bite victims’ health and safety. But in the aftermath of a dog bite, it could be beneficial for you to organize a legal defense as a property owner.
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Dog Bites Cause Injuries and Suffering
Dog bites can cause minor-to-severe injuries and suffering. This can impact the way a case is handled in the legal system. If someone experienced any of the following forms of suffering after a dog bite occurs on your property, they could take legal action:
- Puncture wounds or open cuts
- Infections due to a dog bite wound
- Eye injuries
- Muscular or joint injuries
- Soft tissue damage or disfigurement
- Emotional or psychological damage from the attack
Determining Liability in Dog Bite Cases
When someone is injured from a dog bite, determining liability ultimately determines who is legally responsible for paying damages. Even if a dog bite took place on your property, you may not have been at fault.
A guest on your property could have provoked the animal, causing a safe situation to become dangerous. It is also possible the animal on your property was not yours. If this is the case, the animal’s owner could be responsible for any resulting injuries it caused.
Several factors contribute to determining liability. A lawyer could help you understand if you are at fault and how. If you are ultimately accused of being at fault, it is important to organize your defense in a way that offers the best possible outcome.
All dogs are wild animals at their core, and even the most trusted animal or breed can potentially be dangerous under the wrong circumstances. That being said, certain breeds are statistically more likely to be involved in attacks than others. Among the most dangerous breeds are:
- Pit bulls
- Mixed-breed dogs
- German shepherds
Any animal can snap, but the history of an animal’s behavior and how its owners control it in public could be more important than their specific breed. If you had a dangerous or untrained dog on your property at the time of the bite, you could be held liable for resulting injuries and damages.
On the contrary, if you did everything in your control to keep others safe from animals on your property, this could be part of your defense as a property owner.
Factors That Can Lead to a Dog Attack
Certain stressors and factors increase the likelihood of a dog bite or attack, including:
- Invading the animal’s personal space
- Approaching an animal while they are eating or guarding a toy
- Approaching an unknown animal
- An off-leash animal that is in a public space
- Sudden movements that can startle a dog
- Teasing a dog or animal
- Intentionally chasing or antagonizing a dog
- Overwhelming a dog by cornering or surrounding them
- Large crowds that a dog may not be used to
If you did everything in your power to keep your animal safe, but another party provoked an animal on your property, they could be liable for any bites or injuries that occurred.
How Common Are Dog Bites in the United States?
The journal Heliyon published a study that says hundreds of thousands of annual emergency room visits in the United States are due to dog bites, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates more than 4.5 million dog bites occur each year.
As the data suggests, dog bites are more common than you might expect. If a dog bite took place on your property and you find yourself in a legal battle to determine liability, it could be a good idea to consult a legal professional about your case’s details.
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What Happens After the Dog Bite Victim Sues
If a third party decides to take legal action following a dog bite on your property, they could do so by filing a lawsuit. The suit will go through the court system and dictate whether you are at fault or liable for the bite. If you are found to be at fault, you could be required to pay various damages for the party’s suffering.
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A Lawyer Can Represent You and Protect Your Interests
After a dog bite incident occurs on your property, you may want to hire a legal team, which has potential benefits. Having legal representation can help you organize your defense, manage your expectations about your case’s results, answer your questions, offer general support, explain each step of the legal process, and more.
Facing potential legal issues is undoubtedly a stressful time in your life. Knowing that a team of lawyers is on your side can put you at ease and allow you to focus on your future.
Contact Us Today for a Free Dog Bite Case Consultation
If you are facing a legal dispute over a dog bite injury that happened on your property, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is available to help you organize your defense. Call 1-800-747-3733 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team members today.