What Are the Liabilities of Bites That Dog Owners Should Be Aware of?

What Are the Liabilities of Bites That Dog Owners Should Be Aware of?

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Injuries Caused By Dog Bites

Animal bites are especially dangerous because they can transmit rabies, a potentially fatal viral infection. Rabies is found worldwide and is usually communicated through an infected animal’s bite. 

Dog bites happen more frequently than people realize. In the United States, there are roughly 4.5 million dog bites annually. One in 800,000 of these attacks causes serious injuries and requires medical attention.

Five Liabilities of Dog Bites That Owners Should Know:

Dog bites can frequently be highly serious and result in major damage. Because some dogs have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, even their smallest t bites can seriously harm a person. One bite can permanently scar someone’s face or neck. Sometimes, the victim may need cosmetic surgery or other reconstructive surgeries to fix any long-term harm the bite itself may have caused.

The following are some of the liabilities of bites that dog owners should be aware of:

  1. Strict Liability

All dog owners are legally required to care for their animals, but they are also liable for any harm their dogs may cause. According to a legal doctrine known as “strict responsibility,” you could be held responsible for any damages, including medical costs and pain and suffering, if your dog bites someone, even if you weren’t careless with your pet.

Imagine, for instance, that your neighbor has a pit bull that bites someone and it results in significant injuries. In that situation, even if they were unaware that the dog had a history of aggression before the assault, they would probably still be held accountable under this criterion.

If you sustain injuries due to a dog attack or bite, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will assess your situation and help you decide if you have a strong claim for monetary compensation for your losses and injuries.

  1. Negligence Liability

Negligence is a legal term that refers to the failure to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in similar circumstances. 

Negligence liability for a dog bite is a legal term used to describe the responsibility that the owner of a dog has when their animal bites someone. The dog owner could be held responsible for any injuries that occurred through their negligence and may be required to compensate the victim.

While there are certain differences in how dog bite negligence lawsuits are handled from other forms of negligence cases recognized in personal injury law, there are some similarities. For example, the burden of proof differs from state to state and case to case.

  1. Liability for Medical Bills 

If the injured party was required to visit the hospital because of their injuries, they would likely have medical bills to pay. If they were injured severely enough that they could not work for several weeks or months, they would also have lost wages while recovering from the injury.

It is crucial to understand that this does not obligate you to cover all medical expenses incurred due to your dog biting someone. Certain injuries are pre-existing conditions and insurance companies or homeowners’ policies might keep them hidden. It is best to seek legal advice before accepting any settlement offer or payment schedule if you are being sued for medical expenses related to a dog bite.

For example, if you get bitten at your friend’s house and they have homeowner’s insurance, their homeowner’s insurance may cover your medical bills because it happened on private property.

  1. Liability for Bodily Damage 

Whether deliberate or not, any physical harm brought on by an animal is referred to as “bodily damage.” According to the legislation, this kind of harm is on par with personal injuries brought on by other forms of accidents, such as automobile crashes or slip-and-fall incidents. You could be held responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in damages if your dog bites someone and causes significant harm.

Dog bites can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, scarring, and deep wounds that require stitches and surgery. Some victims may have permanent disfigurement or disability due to their injuries.

  1. Liability for Loss of Income 

If an injured party cannot work because of their injuries, they will lose wages while recovering from their injuries and any future medical expenses. 

You should be aware of the obligation for loss of income because it compensates you for not being able to work and make money. For instance, if you work as a barber and a dog bit you making it impossible for you to cut hair, the dog’s owner would have to compensate you for your lost income.

There often won’t be a cap on how much compensation you can receive, but there may be exceptions. Contacting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney is advised. If you have suffered harm or other losses due to a dog bite, they can evaluate your case and give you the appropriate guidance.

Two Types Of Dog Bites: Provoked and Unprovoked Bites.

  • Unprovoked dog bites 

These Are the most common, accounting for 65% of all dog bites. The most common victims of unprovoked attacks are children and senior citizens. Unprovoked attacks may occur when a stranger approaches a dog or even when a visitor or member of the family comes into contact with an unfamiliar pet. 

In these cases, the pet owner may not be present when the incident occurs. The victim has usually had no prior interaction with the dog before being bitten.

  • Provoked Dog Bites

Provoked attacks account for 35% of all dog bites and generally occur when someone is abusing or teasing an animal by hitting it on the nose or ears or poking it in the eyes with objects like sticks and pencils. These attacks are more likely to occur when there is a history of abuse towards animals in a home environment.


Dog owners should know about the liabilities of dog bites and hence, be able to take steps to reduce the chances of being sued. They can ask their attorney for advice on the appropriate actions to take in case their dog bites someone. They can also talk with a local insurance agent about what kinds of liability insurance are available and how much they will cost.

Thus, it is important to know what your liability is so that you can take action to prevent injuries or start important discussions following injuries to reduce harm. To do this, pay attention to certain guidelines surrounding your situation to ensure that you are covered and follow the necessary steps.

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