Did a Dog Bite Someone While on Your Property? Who Is Liable?

Sep 22, 2023

Dog bites are a serious problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of those bites, about 800,000 require medical attention.

Dog bites can be especially dangerous for children. Children are more likely to be bitten on the face and neck, and their injuries are more likely to be severe.

Statutes and Common Law

States often have dog bite statutes that outline the responsibilities of dog owners. For instance, in some states, owners may be held strictly liable for any injury their dog causes, even if the dog has never shown signs of aggression before (Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School). However, other states may employ a “one-bite” rule, which protects owners if they had no reason to believe their dog was dangerous. Knowing your state’s regulations is critical.

Homeowner’s Insurance

In some instances, homeowner’s insurance may cover dog bite incidents. However, many policies have exceptions, especially if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior or falls under a “high-risk” breed category.

Comparative Negligence

Another aspect that can complicate matters is comparative negligence. This legal principle considers the actions of the injured party. If your guest, for example, provoked the dog, they may share some liability for the incident.

Take Action Today

A dog bite incident can be both emotionally and legally complex. If you are a victim or the dog owner, understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial. This is not a situation where you should go it alone. Consulting a personal injury lawyer in Brooklyn can provide valuable insights into the specifics of your case, such as comparative negligence and applicable laws. It may also make the difference between a fair settlement and a prolonged, stressful legal battle.

Contact Levitsky Law Firm PLLC today. Allow us to guide you through the labyrinth of legal issues you might be facing. Time is of the essence—act now to protect your rights and interests