Dog attacks happen without warning and often produce serious injuries. The dog breed could increase the probability of more serious injuries. A dog with the rabies virus is more likely to kill its victim. Victims must report the attack quickly and help the county animal control officer locate the dog and start an investigation. When getting started, victims educate themselves on the five dogs bite lawsuit facts you need to bear in mind.
- The Statute of Limitations:
All dog bite victims face a statute of limitations of three years. If they don’t start a case before the third anniversary of the dog bite or attack, the victim loses all rights to file a case or collect compensation. It is recommended that the victim meets with an attorney as early as possible so they remember all the facts of the attack and record them.
- Legally Declared Dangerous:
A dog that is legally declared dangerous has been involved in previous attacks, and the county has a record of the events. According to the dangerous dog laws, any dog that was legally declared dangerous presents a strict liability for the pet owner. The strict liability entitles victims to the full payment of all medical expenses and some tort-based awards.
The state declares a dog dangerous after a vicious attack on a human and due to a temperament for which a reasonable individual could establish a danger to the public. The classification could lead to criminal charges for some pet owners due to negligence. Once they are aware that their dog is dangerous, the pet owners must take all precautions to prevent a future attack.
- The One-Bite Ruling:
The one-bite ruling is used in several states and doesn’t hold the dog at fault after the first bite. However, if the dog bites the victim again, the pet owner is liable. The ruling is used to eliminate dog attack cases where it is clear that the animal had no intent to cause bodily harm. The ruling applies mostly to sudden bites that occur when the victim is visiting a home of pet owner, and their animal bites them one time out of reflex.
- Defenses Used in Dog Bite Cases:
A victim isn’t allowed to receive compensation if their injuries were the result of a criminal act. Strict laws apply to victims who are guilty of trespassing, burglary, and animal cruelty. If the defendant proves the victim guilty of any crime, the victim faces criminal charges and won’t receive compensation for their dog attack-related injuries.
- Contracting the Rabies Virus:
All states require dog owners to get their pets vaccinated for the rabies virus. A dog suspected of having rabies must enter into a 12-day quarantine unless they are showing signs of rabies already. Any pet that clearly has rabies is euthanized as they pose an immediate threat to the public.
If the dog enters quarantine, the pet owner faces all charges for the quarantine, medical examinations, and vaccinations. On the other hand, if the victim contracts the rabies virus during the attack, the pet owner faces the full expense of treatment and related medical costs. If the victim dies, the pet owner faces a potential wrongful death lawsuit and criminal charges.
Dog attack laws protect humans who are injured due to no fault of their own. Pet owners are required by law to mitigate the risk of a potential attack by following state laws and city ordinances. Strict laws apply when the dog has been legally declared dangerous. Any pet owner that places others at risk of contracting the rabies virus could face more extensive penalties and liabilities as outlined in the state laws.