Neglegence is one of the toughest things to prove in any case. In the case of a dog bite, you might think that it’s pretty obvious that it was the owner’s fault. But thats not always true. There are also circumstances in which the person who was bitten was at fault. Was the dog provoked? Was the victim trespassing? Did the owner act responsibly? All of these questions and more go into proving neglegence in a dog bite case.
Who is Responsible For a Dog Bite
Below are some examples of how courts are decided on dog bite cases.
- The dog is chained in the unfenced front yard, so that it can’t reach the sidewalk, and a “Beware of Dog” sign is posted. Someone walks up to the dog and gets bitten. The owner was not negligent. Confining the dog inside the owner’s property and posting a sign are reasonable precautions against someone being injured.
- A house guest, searching for the bathroom, is frightened when she hears the hosts’ dog growl, and falls down a flight of stairs. The dog was behind a gate in the laundry room, across the hall from the bathroom. The owners were not negligent; they took reasonable precautions and were not liable for the injury.
- A dog owner lets his dog loose in his yard, and the dog runs at a bicyclist riding by. Trying to avoid the dog, the cyclist is thrown from his bicycle and suffers permanent hearing loss. The dog’s owner was negligent because the dog was not on a leash.
- A contractor leaves a gate open, allowing the property owner’s dog to get out and injure a neighbor. The contractor wasn’t liable for the injury, because he didn’t have a responsibility to keep the injured person safe from the dog. The owner is not liable either.