Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

Proving the fault of the owner in a dog bite case

Many states implement strict liability 'dog bite' laws where the owner is required to compensate the victim bitten by their dog. In states where dog bite laws are not practiced, in order to receive compensation from the dog's owner, the victim must provide enough proof to show that the owner was aware of the vicious tendencies of his animal. This means proving that the owner knew that their dog was inclined to biting or attacking and posed a threat others.

Some factors that can be used to show owner liability in a dog bite incident to strengthen your case as the plaintiff include the size and breed of the animal and the purpose for which the dog was kept. By general rule, dogs that are bigger in size have a higher tendency to be more aggressive as well as certain breeds such as a pit bull or Rottweiler. Similarly, if the dog was kept for protection and trained to attack strangers, this can be used in court to show that the owner knew the dog could attack people.

History of any past attack incidents or frequent snapping of the dog gives an indication of the violent nature of the said animal and liability falls on the owner to have taken steps to avoid such incidents. Any complaints brought to the owner in the past over the dog's behavior and what steps the owner took to remedy those complaints can also be taken into account, in the wake of a future biting or attack incident. Even if the dog had not bitten any human in the past but fought with other animals or was muzzled by the owner at public places before, it can still be used to illustrate the violent nature of the dog.

When filing a dog bite claim, these factors can be used against the owner and will significantly strengthen your case when seeking damages for your injuries if your state doesn't already practice strict liability laws regarding dog bites. A qualified lawyer will be able to help you in filing a strong claim and the court proceedings.

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