If you were bit by a dog, and as a result, had to seek out medical attention, you may be able to file a claim against the owner of the dog. However, in order to win your case, you must be able to meet certain criteria. If these criteria cannot be met, your case may be thrown out or you may lose the case. Here are the criteria that must be met in order to file a personal injury claim for a dog bite.
The Owner Did Not Have Control Over Their Dog
As a dog owner, you need to ensure that you have control over your dog at all time. When you are walking your dog, this includes walking your dog on a leash and having full control over them. When you let them out in your backyard, you need to ensure your fence is properly maintained and suitable so that your dog cannot escape. And when you are away at work, you need to ensure your dog is secured somewhere where they cannot break free. And if you have company over to your home, you need to ensure your dog is either comfortable around your guests or placed in a bedroom or outside. If you were bit by a dog, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if you can show the owner did not have control over their dog.
The Owner Had Reason to Believe the Dog May Attack
In many states, another criteria that you must be able to prove is that the owner had reason to believe the dog may attack or bite. Certain breeds are more prone to biting and their owners need to be more vigilant to protect people from their pet. Other dogs may have displayed signs of aggression toward children or strangers before, and their owners need to be cautious letting these people around their pets. Lastly, the dog may have attacked before, letting the owner known their dog may be vicious. If the owner had any reason to believe their dog may attack, and it did, you may be able to file a personal injury case.
You Did Not Provoke or Instigate the Attack
Lastly, you need to be able to state under oath that you did not provoke or instigate the attack. If you leaned down to pet an unknown dog, you assumed the risk that the dog may bite. If you were playing aggressively with a friend's dog and they bit you, you may be responsible. If you provoked the attack in any way, you may not be able to file this type of claim.
It is important to note that these are general guidelines for dog bite cases. The specific laws for these types of cases may vary from county to county and state to state. If you were bit by a dog and you think you meet these criteria, or you are not sure, consult with a personal injury lawyer. They can let you know the specific criteria for your state and whether you should file and can win a personal injury case for the bite you sustained. For more information, contact a company like Hodge Law Firm.