For most pet owners, the dog is almost another member of the family, but they are animals, and if your dog ever bites someone, you are almost always liable. This can lead to a world of legal headaches that is better off avoided when at all possible. The important thing is to always take preventive measures as a responsible pet owner to safeguard against the chance that your dog bites someone. You should also be generally aware of the laws applicable to you should your dog cause injury to anyone else.
The Disparti Law Group would therefore like to offer some insight on how you can avoid future liability claims against you due to pet-related accidents. Keeping this information in mind, you can better protect both yourself and your dog.
Understand Your Sate Law
More than half of all states make pet owners liable if their dog causes injury to another person. These are specifically strict liability statutes, with the idea being that a pet owner should be responsible for any and all damages caused by their dog.
These are tough laws, to be sure, but many of them are covered in so far that trespassers or those who antagonize dogs into biting them can disqualify liability. In Chicago, IL, for example, an injured person must prove lack of trespassing or provocation.
Then there are a few states that do not impose strict liability and instead rely on leash laws and questions of owner negligence, so it really does depend in which state you live.
How to Prevent Dog Bites
Regardless of the law, wouldn’t it be much easier if you never had to worry about your dog biting someone? There are literally tons of resources available to you to curtail potential dog bites, with the best among them your local humane society. For the most part, dogs bite because they are not trained well enough, so spending the time to do so or learning from a class could go a long way in helping you out. It might also not be a bad idea to spay and neuter your dog and socialize it with others in a local pet park. Small things like this will lead to a happier and more peaceful pet.
Consider an Insurance Policy
If your dog has a history of behavior problems, however, and training has not worked, you may need to consider an insurance policy to protect you in case of a future liability claim. We should stress, though, that there are many options to take here, and consulting an attorney at the Disparti Law Group might be best in this situation.
Learn More About Laws on Dog Bites
If your dog bites someone, odds are that you are now liable for that injury, but depending on your state’s laws, you could be protected. That being said, the best way to cover yourself against dog bites is to invest time in training your dog to interact better with people and other pets. Only then can you know that you are safe. Otherwise, for all other questions regarding laws on dog bites—or to find out more about potential insurance policy options—contact a representative at the Disparti Law Group to see how we can help you.