South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Is the Owner Responsible for My Dog Bite?

Is the Owner Responsible for My Dog Bite?

Dog injuries are more common than you might think. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States, 800,000 of which require medical attention. Typically the dog’s owner is responsible for covering the medical bill since he or she has a legal responsibility to prevent the dog from injuring others or damaging property. Even if the incident occurs off the owner’s property, his or her homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy might cover the cost of compensating you. The owner might also be required to take measures to stop a similar incident from occurring again. If an owner was particularly negligent and knew of the dog’s aggressive nature, but allowed it to run loose, he or she might also face a jail sentence.


Here are some more details and examples of liability in dog bite cases:

  1. The one-bite rule: An owner is legally responsible for an injury caused by a dog if he or she knew the dog has a tendency to bite or is prone to aggressive and violent behavior. Your attorney would have to prove the owner knew the dog posed a danger to others. For example, a man in New Jersey was scratched by a dog, sued the owner and won. His personal injury attorney used the one-bite theory, proving the owner knew the dog had a tendency to jump up and scratch people.
  2. The state has a dog-bite statute: Some states have dog-bite laws that make dog owners responsible for the injuries their pets cause regardless if they had knowledge of an animal’s tendency to cause injury or not. For example, if a woman was at a park with her dog and it bites a child, it would not matter if the dog never exhibited this behavior or if she was not being careless. The state would still make her financially responsible for the injuries it caused.
  3. The dog owner was unreasonably careless: If the dog bite injury was caused by an owner’s carelessness, he or she might be held liable. For example, if a man put his new dog out in the backyard, but forgot to lock the gate and the dog proceeded to run out and bite the mail carrier, he would be liable for negligence. It does not matter if he was aware of the dog’s violent tendencies since it was the owner’s negligence that caused the incident to occur.

In some cases, someone other than the dog owner might be liable for any injuries. If someone besides the owner was taking care of or controlling the dog or if the owner is under 18, another party or more than one party might be responsible for your injuries. It is important to consult a personal injury attorney to fully understand your rights and ensure you obtain maximum compensation for damages.

Greenville Personal Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one was injured by a dog, you might be eligible to seek compensation from the owner. At Christian & Christian, our dedicated personal injury team is committed to representing those who have been harmed or injured due to the irresponsibility or negligence of others. Our Greenville legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and can ensure your injury claim is aggressively put forth before the law.

Do not hesitate to begin fighting for the compensation you deserve and need to move forward with your recovery.

Contact us today at (864) 408-8890 to schedule a free consultation.


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