There are varying rules regarding liability for dog bites depending on the state a person resides in. Previously, nearly all states held the ruling that a dog owner could only be legally questioned for the behavior of their dog if they knew the dog had a chance of biting and they failed to prevent the bite from occurring. This rule is often called the ‘One-Bite’ rule because it generally results in excusing the pet one time for their behavior. However, now there are many states that practice strict-liability dog bite laws.
The strict liability rule means that the dog owner, or the defendant, in this case, is entirely responsible for the dog bite, even if the circumstances were pretty much out of their control. There are only two main conditions that need to be met to hold a dog owner liable for a dog bite under strict liability laws.
First off, the individual who was bitten, or the plaintiff, in this case, should have been allowed to be where he was when he was bitten. Secondly, the plaintiff should not have provoked the dog. If these two conditions are fulfilled, the owner will most likely be held to account for the dog bite. Once again, the details will differ from state to state and it is best to have a qualified attorney by one’s side to help create defenses and present the required evidence.
It can be very confusing to discern whether the owner can be held liable for the dog bite or if they will most probably be let off the hook and not legally penalized. Calling a personal injury lawyer to discuss the possible outcomes and the possible compensation a person could earn for their dog bite injury is always a good idea.
A lawyer can quench a person’s curiosity and let them know their legal options. Even if the state they reside in follows the one-bite ruling there is still a chance the pet owner can be penalized if they had been able to prevent the bite, but they failed to take the necessary precautions.
The dog bite statute in section 2321 of the Louisiana Civil Code explains the factors that lead to an owner being found guilty. This statute explains that the owner of the dog must pay damages under certain conditions, such as:
If the above factors apply to one’s case, then they can easily hold the dog owner responsible for the actions of his pet. The owner can be fined around $100-$500 and if litigation is pursued then the owner may have to pay for the medical bills that will accumulate as a person heals from their injury. If there is permanent disfigurement or a permanent injury results from the dog bite, a larger amount of compensation can be demanded.