question.jpgIn Personal Injury Law

What are the laws on dog bites?

In almost every state now, if your dog bites someone, you will be held liable for the injury. Back under old state laws - depending on the type of dog you had - you often got one free bite. But, given the rise in injuries due to dog bites, that is no longer true. If your dog injures someone, you can be held liable for medical expenses, lost wages, or even therapy expenses, if the bite led to a particularly traumatic incident. Out in the Hamptons recently, a judge even allowed a $33 million lawsuit to go ahead, despite the fact that the injury was only a four-inch laceration, and the dog in this case was merely a cockapoo. The rare occasion when a dog-bite victim either provokes a dog or is otherwise trespassing on your land, offers some leeway. But provocation is often difficult to prove. So, if you own a dog, train it well; keep it away from strangers, always walk it with a leash, and try to steer it clear of children, who are the most frequent victim of dog bites.

If, on the other hand, you are a dog-bite victim, you should seek immediate medical attention, and then try to collect as much information about the dog and its owner as possible. Take pictures, interview witnesses, and contact an attorney. You may be eligible for claims against the owner.