If you own a dog, you already know how much joy the pet brings you. However, dogs will also do things such as going to the bathroom on your carpet, bark late in the night, and even tear up pillows. But still, the worst thing your dog can do is to bite someone. Dog owners are usually held responsible when dogs bite other people or hurt them in any other way. That means that the victim may sue you for medical expenses or other damages. Whether you are at risk or not depends on how you react. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney that has handled dog bite cases, you don’t have to panic. Below are some tips you can count on if someone is looking to sue you for a dog bite.
Be Nice to the Victim
Although you should not accept liability, you should try to be kind to the person who your dog has hurt. Even if you think he was in the wrong, you don’t have to start pointing fingers at a person in pain. You should show that you are concerned and that you are sorry. After all, the decision to sue is purely in their hand, and your kindness could alleviate any ill-feelings.
Prepare your defense
If the victim decides to turn the situation into a lawsuit, you have no choice but to start preparing your defense. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to fight back by arguing several of the following points. The injured person:
- Was trespassing
- Provoked your dog
- Voluntarily risked getting hurt by your dog
- Was being unreasonably careless
While these arguments make for compelling counters, you cannot apply all these arguments in any case. This is because the laws about dog bites differ from one state to another. Nevertheless, It is imperative to understand that the victim will sue you based on these basic rules.
- One Bite Rule: This makes you liable if the victim can prove that you knew that your dog posed a danger
- Strict Liability Dog Laws: In most states, this rule makes your liable even if you didn’t know that your dog posed a threat.
- Law Court Decisions: These make you liable if the victim proves that you were unreasonably careless in controlling your pet.
Overall, it is apparent that you are at risk if your dog bites someone. Whatever the situation or factors may be, the best thing to do is to stay calm and let a qualified personal injury attorney fight for you.