dog bites law

Essentials of Dog Bites and Other Injuries


In the United States, millions of individuals are bitten by animals – particularly dogs – annually. Most of these bites aren’t that serious, but loads of them do bring out medical bills, suffering, and lost time from work. Kids (particularly boys) are likely to get a disproportionate fraction of the animal bites.

The law can respond to this unfortunate phenomenon in various ways. Initially, all states practice laws that make owners of the animal responsible, under specific circumstances, for damage and injuries their animals cause.

Numerous states follow a quite old principle, somewhat misleadingly known as the rule “one free bite.” Broadly said, this rule states that if a dog harms somebody, the owners of the dog are not liable until they had a reason of knowing that the dog might cause an injury.

On the other hand, other states include laws on the books (such as dog-bite laws) that make dog owners legally responsible regardless of knowledge about the temperament of the dog.

Preventing and Handling Injuries by Dogs

dog bites law
A fierce dog.

For Dog Owners: Preventing Injuries

Any animal (dogs particularly) can injure someone. In fact, most dog bites are inflicted by such pets that belong to the family or friends of the injured person.

If A Dog Hurts You

Preserving your compensation right from the dog owner– A comprehensive and well-written demand letter may be the answer to your injury claim.

The Liability of the Dog Owner

Overview: Liability of the Dog Owner for Bites

In most instances, the dog owners are liable for paying due to their legal responsibility in preventing their pets from damaging property or injuring people.

“One-Bite” Rule

Under this statute, a dog owner is legally responsible for injuries that the dog causes, only if the owner had a reason to know or knew that their pet was likely to bring about that type of injury.

Dog-Bite Statutes: Strict Liability

Over half the states have laws that make dog’s owners legally responsible if their pets cause injury.

Liability of A Negligent Dog Owner

Negligence is a legal policy under which the owner of a dog could be found legally responsible for injuries their dog caused.

Legal Defenses of a Dog Owner

A dog owner is not always liable for the injuries brought about by their pet.

Dog Bite Liability: Keepers and Owners

Somebody who keeps a dog, but does not own it, may be accountable for injuries the animal causes.

Compensating Somebody Harmed by a Dog

Somebody whose dog harms another could be liable for the person:

Liability Insurance of the Dog Owners

If a dog damages property or hurts someone, the dog owner can pay a very large amount of compensation.

Taking a Dog Bite Claims to Minor Claims Court

Dog-bite injuries

The majority of dog-bite disagreements never get to court; they are usually settled by discussions and negotiations between the injured individual and the insurance company or dog owner. Here is how a typical case could unfold.

When Dogs Harm Livestock

In the law, harming livestock that’s economically valuable is usually a more severe matter than harming a person.

Vet’s Duty to Treat Animals

In the majority of cases, a veterinarian isn’t under a legal responsibility to treat a harmed animal.

If a Dog Harms a Veterinarian

Whether you want or not, there are cases wherein your pet would bite somebody.

‘Vicious Dog’ or ‘Dangerous Dog’ Laws

Dangerous Dog Laws

These laws require special restrictions on dog owners that are formally labeled as dangerous.

Owners of Dangerous Dogs: Criminal Penalties

Unless a dog kills or mauls somebody—a very uncommon event—its owner perhaps will not be charged.

Pit Bulls and Other Breeds: Legal Restrictions

Whether or not particular breeds are characteristically ferocious—loads of animal observers and behaviorists believe they aren’t—a few breeds do comprise a disproportionate number of severe injuries to humans.