If you have a dog, one thing that you should always be aware of is what can happen if it hurts someone else. If a dog bites, most will assume that the dog owner is automatically responsible for injuries sustained. However, there are some instances when the person who is injured could be liable. The following are some examples of the injured party being responsible for dog bites:
Someone Provoked the Dog
If the injured person provoked the dog that resulted in a bite, it is possible for that person to be held liable. This includes paying their own medical expenses. This is particularly true if it can be proven that the injured person was abusing the dog in any way that caused a violent reaction.
Keep in mind that provocation is not always going to be in your favor as the dog owner. If the provocation was unintentional, you could still be responsible. This includes someone getting bitten in the process of petting your dog or unintentionally hurting it by stepping on its foot or tail. Also, child provocation that results in an injury will often fall back on you in many states.
Another way you can avoid legal trouble is if the injured person was trespassing on your property. In addition to being bitten, the injured person could end up facing charges of his or her own due to being on your property illegally.
Avoidance of Risk Factors
There are also some risk factors that could result in someone being bitten by a dog. If a person choses to avoid those risk factors, the responsibly for his or her injuries will be their own. For instance, if your property clearly has signage that states "Beware of Dog" and the person goes near it anyway, this can result in an injury that they will have to shoulder him or herself. Another example is if a person goes into a dog's enclosure and gets bitten, it will show that he or she was at fault for the injury.
If your dog bites someone, regardless of the circumstances, you should contact your attorney. If you feel as though the dog bit because of the action of the injured party, you may want to consider also calling the police to file a report so that it is on record. Many will immediately place blame on the dog no matter the circumstances, so be sure that you know the laws in your area when it comes to dog bites. It is crucial in protecting yourself and your dog.
For more information, talk to a professional like Robert A Murray.