Animal Bite Law
Guide to Dog Bite and Animal Attack Law
Other parties that can also be held liable for damages caused by an animal bite include: animal keepers, who are responsible for the care and custody of an animal, such as a kennel, pound or animal sitter; property owners, when they have allowed the animal on their property; landlords, if they knew that their tenant owned a dangerous animal; and parents of minors who owned the animal or behaved negligently with an animal which led to injury.
Most states impose strict liability laws with regard to animal owners. This means that an animal owner is legally responsible for his/her animal biting, regardless of whether the owner showed actual negligence or fault. In these states, if the animal injures a person, the owner will be liable for any damages the person suffers as a result of the dog bite, even if the animal had never shown vicious tendencies before, or the owner had no knowledge of these tendencies.
The only defense the animal owner may have in these cases is intentional provocation of the animal by the victim, which means inciting, encouraging, or provoking the animal to bite. Additionally, law enforcement agencies that use dogs in the apprehension of criminal suspects may be exempt from liability.
In other states, the owner’s liability is dependent upon his/her knowledge of the animal’s dangerous or vicious propensities. If the victim can show that the owner had knowledge that the animal was dangerous and could injure someone, the owner may be liable for damages when his/her animal causes injury to someone. However, if the animal owner adequately warned others of the dangerousness of the animal and took the proper measures to keep the animal from others, there may be no liability, due to contributory negligence. This means the victim contributed to his own injury by failing to exercise reasonable care and knowingly taking the risk of being injured by the animal.
The damages that can be recovered in a successful animal bite claim include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages. Although it is sometimes possible to recover punitive damages, but to do so it must be shown that the responsible party was not merely negligent, but was actually reckless or intentionally incited the injury. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Animal Bite Law - US
- Dangerous Dogs and Breed-Specific Legislation
The HSUS opposes legislation aimed at eradicating or strictly regulating dogs based solely on their breed for a number of reasons. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is a common first approach that many communities take. Thankfully, once research is conducted most community leaders correctly realize that BSL won't solve the problems they face with dangerous dogs.
- Dangerous or Vicious Animal Statutes by State
This chart deals with state laws concerning dangerous or vicious animals. Note that it is not the animals the state attempts to regulate, but the persons who own, possess, or harbor them. We distinguish between this sort of regulation and animal bite issues. Animal bites are not activities, but events, and state laws concerning them set the consequences for these events. If you are searching for an insight into your state’s laws concerning animal bites, we have set up a separate chart concerning these.
- Dog Attacks - Definition
Dog attacks are attacks on humans by feral or domestic dogs. With the close association of dogs and humans in daily life (largely as pets), dog attacks—with injuries from very minor to significant, and severe to fatal—are not uncommon. Attacks on the serious end of the spectrum have become the focus of increasing media and public attention in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is estimated that two percent of the US population, 4.7 million people, are bitten each year. In the 1980s and 1990s the US averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this has increased to 26. 77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the dog owner's property.
- Dog Bite Law
The most trusted and extensive resource for dog bite victims, dog owners, parents, journalists and others needing to learn about the legal rights of victims, and other aspects of the dog bite epidemic.
- Dog Bite Strict Liability Statute
This article provides a list of the states that impose strict liability to dog owners for any damages suffered by any person as the result of a dog bite. Approximately 35 states and D.C. have some form of strict liability for dog bites or other personal injury done by dogs. The main feature of these statutes is that liability is assigned regardless of the dog's former showing of vicious tendencies or the owner's knowledge of the dog's viciousness. In general, the only two exceptions arise under these statutes: (1) provocation of the dog by the victim; and (2) governmental agencies (i.e., law enforcement) who are using dogs in the apprehension of criminal suspects or in the investigation of a crime.
- One Bite Free Rule
The “One Bite Rule” or the “One Bite Free” rules as been adopted by 18 states to varying degrees. This rule gives a dog owner one free pass if a dog bites a victim for the first time. It is a grace period that allows the owner to escape liability for what is the unpredictable behavior of an animal. After one bite, the dog will be viewed as having a predisposition or “propensity” towards violence and biting human beings.
Organizations Related to Animal Bite Law
- Dogs Bite
DogsBite.org is a public education website about dangerous dogs -- specifically pit bull type dogs.1 We are the only website dedicated to putting the safety of humans before dogs, as we are the only source of information on this topic that is not owned, controlled, or funded by pit bull breeders, owners, veterinarian or animal welfare groups.
- Homeowners' Insurance Resource Center
Did you know that in most states it is legal for insurance companies to charge homeowners higher premiums or refuse to renew a policy based solely on the owner's breed of dog? Surprising as it may sound, more and more dog owners are being told they will be dropped by their insurance carrier if they refuse to give up their dog, even if they are long-time customers and their dog has never bitten or attacked anyone.
- Michigan State University College of Law: Animal Legal and Historical Web Center
This site is approaching its eighth year since creation and we are pleased with our growth. There are over 1000 full text cases (US, Historical and UK) and over 1100 U.S. statutes fully available on the site, with Michigan and California being very comprehensive. More importantly, we have over 50 topics that give the viewer directions and comprehensive explanations on some of the more interesting issues of the animal area. We also have a number of legal articles addressing a wide variety of animal topics.
- National Animal Control Association
The vision of the National Animal Control Association is to become the most widely recognized and respected world leader in the field of animal protection and care by setting the standards for professionalism through training, networking, advocacy, and humane law enforcement.
- National Animal Interest Alliance
The National Animal Interest Alliance is an association of business, agricultural, scientific, and recreational interests dedicated to promoting animal welfare, supporting responsible animal use and strengthening the bond between humans and animals.
- Position Statements on Breed Specific Legislation
Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is designed to place restrictions on ownership of certain breeds of dogs. Typically, the restricted breeds include pit bull-type dogs (usually vaguely defined), followed by Rottweilers. Other breeds may include German Shepherds, Chow Chows, Presa Canarios, Dobermans, Cane Corsos, Huskies, Boxers, and mixes of these. Breed-specific legislation creates a number of restrictions or regulations on any one breed. Owners of certain breeds of dogs may be required to: -Keep the dog muzzled in public -Purchase insurance for the dog -Keep the dog on its owner's property at all times (no trips to the park, the store, etc.) -Keep the dog in a specific enclosure at all times.
Publications Related to Animal Bite Law
- Animal Attack Files
The Animal Attack Files is not anti-animal or pro-attack. We simply report as many attack-related stories as we can. It is up to you, the reader, to develop your own opinion.
- Humane Society - Should Wild Animals Be Kept as Pets?
The Humane Society of the United States strongly opposes keeping wild animals as pets. This principle applies to both native and nonnative species, whether caught in the wild or bred in captivity. The overwhelming majority of people who obtain these animals are unable to provide the care they require.
Articles on HG.org Related to Animal Bite Law
- Explanation of Disfigurement from Dog Bite: Types, Treatment and DamagesDisfigurement from a dog bite after a dog attack may result in compensation for the surgical costs to treat the disfigurement and emotional harm.
- Dog Attack Claim: Establishing Ownership of Dog in FayettevilleAfter a dog attack, you may decide to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. To do this, however, you will need to establish ownership of the dog.
- California Dog Bite and Leash LawsEvery day about one thousand U.S. citizens incur dog bites that require emergency attention. Dog bite law is a branch of law that greatly varies from state to state. California has noticed an increase in dangerous dogs and dog bites, and has created a set of laws that are especially stringent in order to keep its citizens safer. Dog owners are responsible and held liable for what their dogs do to both humans and other animals.
- Dog Bite Laws In Texas: Why Pit Bulls Should Be Banned or RestrainedTens of thousands of people are injured every year from dog bites and attacks, and dozens more are killed each year. As one of the world's leading developed countries, it is both irresponsible and non-progressive to ignore this problem. Other countries around the world have adopted much stricter breed-specific laws and restraint requirements. Unlike the U.S., 12 countries have recognized the dangerous nature of pit bulls and made legislation protecting people from them.
- Dog and Animal Bite InjuriesAlthough cats and dogs may seem like "man's best friend" and harmless, these animals do sometimes attack people. It is very important from a legal standpoint to keep your pet under control and from attacking another person. Animal attacks can lead to physical and mental injuries to the person attacked.
- Arguments in Dog Bite ClaimsDog bites are not limited to causing physical injuries. Yes, there may be pain from lacerations, prolonged complications as a result of wound infection, and scarring, but dog bites also leave emotional scars – especially in younger people. Dog owners are generally obligated to keep their pet on a leash when walking public streets and sidewalks.
- Dog Bites and Liability of ParentsDog bite accidents in the United States is a growing problem over the years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.5 million Americans get bitten by dogs every year, and of these cases, at least 885,000 require medical attention. In 2006, the agency reported that more than 31,000 people needed to undergo reconstructive surgery due to severe dog bite injuries.
- Broken Steps, Pools, and Other Common Homeowner Liability Dangers that You Need to KnowOwing a home is part of the American dream but if you're not careful it can become a nightmare. Identifying sources of lawsuits, and taking steps to avoid them can lower your risk of becoming a liability casualty and keep yourself a happy homeowner. Being a homeowner comes with many perks, not the least of which is the freedom of having your own “castle.” However, it also comes with certain responsibilities, since you may be held liable for incidents that occur on your property.
- Who Does Liability Fall with for Dog Bite and Attack Cases?As dogs come in all shapes and sizes, dogs also come with ranges of temperaments and personalities. The way they are raised and treated can affect a dog’s behavior, specifically their aggression level. There are generally known more aggressive breeds of dogs, but at the end of the day, any dog can bite or attack any person. And, whether the attack is provoked or not by the injured person, there are still laws that lay the liability with the dog’s owner or caretaker.
- Lawsuit Filed in Connection with Yellowstone Bear MaulingA $5 million wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the federal government by the widow of a man mauled by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park in June.
- All Tort and Personal Injury Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Tort and Personal Injury including: animal bites, asbestos mesothelioma, back and neck injury, bicycle accident, birth injury, brain injury, burn injuries, catastrophic injuries, construction accidents, construction injuries, defamation, libel and slander, defective products, industrial injuries, mass tort, negligence, nursing home abuse, pedestrian accident, personal injury, premises liability, product liability, sexual abuse, slip and fall, spinal cord injury, torts, toxic mold, toxic torts, workplace injuries and wrongful death.