Dog Bites and Personal Injury

One of the most controversial legal issues today consists of being bitten by someone’s pet dog. This article discusses the laws that govern this kind of personal injury.

First of all, most states hold the owner responsible if his dog bites another person. If it is determined that the dog is vicious, the authorities can require the animal be put to sleep. If someone you know is bitten by a dog, you should report it to law enforcement or your local animal control agency immediately.

A lawsuit is important in bringing about compensation to those injured by being bitten. Following are some examples:

Medical bills are very expensive. A good doctor will treat the wound and take blood samples to determine any common diseases the dog may have. In addition, besides the costs of the visit and lab work, there could be loss of wages for a day or two. Nothing is more painful than a dog bite. On top of these costs, plastic surgery could follow as well as psychological counseling. Pain and suffering is the most common reason for a lawsuit.

An estimate for a good court settlement against the owner of a dog could run well into the thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if a trespasser is bitten, the owner can seek a lawyer. There are laws that protect owners from being sued.

One good avenue for most people who are facing settlement costs in this kind of law suit is, having a Homeowner’s
Insurance Policy.

“Beware the Dog” signs are a good preventative measure to take as a warning to neighbors and trespassers. Interestingly, it should be mentioned here that most victims of dog bite are friends and neighbors, those who are not strangers to the animal.

Last but not least – Dog owners need to keep in mind how important it is to keep their dog on a leash. Anytime the dog is taken outside of its domain, like for a walk around the block or visiting the nearest park, using a dog leash can prevent a child or adult from being attacked or bitten. It doesn’t matter how gentle your dog may be, it is always safest to use a leash.

As the old saying goes “every dog is allowed one bite”. Be careful the next time you approach any dog. You never know what might follow.