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Personal Injury 101: Who’s in The Right After a Dog Bite?

While most dogs are man’s best friend, this does not mean they don’t occasionally bite when they are agitated. Depending on the size of the dog and the severity of the bite, you could find yourself with extensive damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and even possibly injuries that may be disfiguring long after surgery. Needless to say, someone needs to be held accountable for the dog’s actions. Here’s what you need to remember after suffering from an injury caused by a dog.

Strict Liability Laws

In more and more states, strict liability statutes are in place to protect those who are bitten by dogs. Under these laws, you as the victim would be allowed to hold the dog’s owner accountable, regardless of whether the dog has a prior history of biting. Should you file a lawsuit, you could sue for financial damages including your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

A Dog’s Caretaker

Should you be bitten by a dog while it is in the care of someone other than its owner, you as the victim still are considered to be in the right when it comes to recovering damages from the incident. Thus, if you are bitten by a dog that is with a dog walker, pet sitter, or even the dog owner’s friend, a dog bite attorney will suggest you still file a lawsuit to receive maximum compensation for your injuries.


If you live at an apartment complex or other type of rental property, your dog bite attorney will discuss the likelihood that your landlord may also be held responsible for the dog bite you received. Should you be bitten, you and your attorney will need to prove not only that the landlord knew the dog that bit you was dangerous, but that the landlord also chose to look the other way and do nothing about the situation.

Trespassing or Committing a Crime

While dog bite victims are almost always considered to be in the right in these cases, there are some notable exceptions you should keep in mind. The two most common are when victims were either trespassing on private property, or when they were committing a crime at the time of the incident. In these situations, victims may be unable to gain compensation for their injuries and other damages.

While these cases can seem rather straightforward, they are often more complex than you imagine. Therefore, if you have sustained a dog bite, consult with an experienced dog bite attorney as quickly as possible.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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