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Animal Bite Lawsuit Overview

The legal rights of a dog bite victim depend on where the attack happened, meaning the state and city. The laws vary from state to state, and sometimes even from city to city.
In every state, a victim can recover compensation from:

  1. a person whose negligence caused the attack
  2. a person who violated a leash law or a law prohibiting dogs from "running at large," and
  3. a person who kept a dog with the knowledge that the dog had a history of injuring people.

Additionally, in most states a victim can recover compensation from a dog owner because of the state's "dog bite statute." Generally, dog bite statutes make a dog owner responsible for all bites, even if the dog never bit anyone before.

Sometimes a victim can recover compensation from people who, at first glance, might appear to have little to do with the dog. For example, a landlord might be liable if he knows that a tenant keeps a dog that bites people, provided that the landlord has the legal power to get rid of the tenant. Or a day care center might be liable for permitting someone with a large, aggressive dog to allow it onto the premises.

Topics to Discuss with Your Dog Bite Attorney

  • What to do immediately after the attack
  • Legal rights of a dog bite victim
  • Legal rights of a rescuer
  • Should parents get a lawyer for their injured child?
  • The "one bite rule"
  • Bodily and emotional injuries
  • Free surgery for children disfigured by dogs
  • How injuries are given dollar values
  • Structured settlements
  • Injuries in dog parks
  • Electric fences
  • Landlords' rights and liabilities
  • Homeowner Associations' liability for dog bites
  • Humane society as a defendant
  • Police dogs and civil rights
  • Beware of the "statute of limitations"
  • Dangerous and vicious dogs
  • Criminal penalties for a dog bite