Legal Issues Related To Dog Owner’s Liability

The owner of an aggressive canine, one that has bitten a guest or visitor might have a valid defense. An examination of specific legal issues offers a glimpse of the basis for more than one possible defense strategy.

What is the rule in the state where the biting incident took place?

Does the state adhere to the strict liability doctrine? That states that the owner is liable for any injury that has been caused by a dog’s bite, except under certain circumstances.

—A canine’s owner would not be responsible for bite-related injuries to anyone that did not have a legal right to be on the same owner’s premises.
—Dog owners cannot be held responsible for an attack that represented a canine’s response to a human’s provocative actions.

Does the state have a one-bite rule? That rule says that the owner could not be held liable for a dog’s first biting attack, unless the owner’s knowledge had included an awareness of the pet’s aggressive tendencies. By the same token, the owner could escape liability if he/she had used every precaution, in order to control his/her 4-legged-friend. Personal Injury Lawyer in Etobicoke understands the reason that you seek legal advice.

Practical considerations

How severe was the injury? It makes little sense to invest a great deal of time and effort in seeking compensation for a relatively minor injury.

Does the target of the dog’s teeth feel ready to deal with the possible consequences? Is there a chance that the defense team might claim that the victim was partly to blame for the dog’s aggressive actions? Is the owner someone that the victim sees almost every day? In that situation, the victim’s desire to take legal action might become reduced by thoughts of the consequences.

Has the victim learned the deadline for filing a lawsuit? Every state has its own deadline, as established by the statute of limitations. Lawyers do not like to take on a case, when only a limited amount of time remains, before the established deadline.

Why could that be so important? Why might an injured victim feel compelled to sue a dog’s owner?

It is possible that the owner’s chosen lawyer might make life difficult from a victim that was self-employed, and did not work for an employer. The lawyer might refuse to accept that papers that had been offered as proof of the victim’s profits.

That action might push the injured victim to sue the dog’s owner. A court would not allow the pursuit of such a lawsuit, if the statute of limitations had managed to bring an end to any thoughts of initiating a lawsuit. Consequently, the person that had suffered the dog bite would not win a single cent in the way of compensation.

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