There are more than 90 million dogs that are kept as pets. It’s not surprising then that a small minority of these dog’s bite. Most dog bite injuries are minor, but some are major and require serious medical attention. The majority of these dog bites turn into lawsuits against the dog’s owner.
Plaintiffs living in certain provinces are surprised to find that these states follow the ‘common law’ rule. According to this rule, dog owners are not responsible unless they knew or should have known that their pets could and would bite and cause serious injuries in the process. This is referred to as the ‘one-bite’ law.Many people are confused by this rule. Some provinces that follow strict liability also follow the one bite rule.
Law Considers To Be Danger
If the owner pleads not guilty and the case goes to court, the judge and jury will have to decide if the owner knew or should have known that his or her dog could bite. The courts will take certain factors into consideration when making this decision.
Previous bites – Did the dog bite other people in the past? If he or she did, then the owner should have concluded that this would occur again. Just keep in mind that this is neither a steadfast nor a straightforward rule.
Barking at strangers – Dogs that usually only bark will not hold their owners responsible should they actually bite.
Being intimidating – Dogs that are known to growl and snap at strangers should indicate to their owners that they are capable of biting others.
Jumping on others – Dog owners could be liable if their dogs cause injuries and damage while jumping on others.
Chasing people – Dogs that chase people could hold their owners liable if this causes injuries to others.
Dogs that cause dog fights – Gentle dogs that fight generally don’thold their owners liable because there is usually no way that the owner could have concluded that the dog could be capable of biting others.
Complaints – Owners who have gotten complaints about their dog’s previous behavior will usually be held liable because they should have known that their dogs could be capable of biting others.
The pedigree – The pedigree of the dog usually won’t make the owner legally responsible if the dog bites someone/
‘Beware of dog’ signs – These actually prevent bites by warning people ahead of time that a dog that is capable of being violent is on the premises. Dog owners are rarely held responsible if these dogs do bite.
Defenses That Dog Owners Can Use
Dog owners can generally escape being held liable for dog bites if they can prove that the victim provoked the dog to bite. However, if your dog has bitten someone or you are the victim of a dog bite, it helps to know your liability or how much compensation you are entitled to get. Call on a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sudbury for legal assistance.