Generally, animal attacks are common in areas where there are forests and family home developments. While this may be the case many of the dogs found in such areas are carefully managed by their owners. However, there are instances that exist when dogs are provoked or instigated into biting another person. And then instances where these dogs attack an innocent person for no apparent reason. This article will discuss the application of the one bite rule in dog bite cases.
When there is no provocation, by the victim, this is when the owner of the dog may be liable for damages; or when the owner is not capable of defending the animal in a convincing defense.
When it comes to liability, with regards to dog bites, laws change depending on the state the incident occurred. However, there are some basics that remain the same despite such differences. For example, the owner should have some knowledge that his or her dog has the potential to bite a person or knows that the animal will attack for him or her to be liable. Other cases of liability involve the owner whether or not he or she knew or had awareness of the possibility of the dog biting someone. Either way it is important to know which laws are applicable in the state where the incident occurs.
One such law is that of the one bite rule. The owner will be held liable only if he or she were aware that the animal would or had the potential to bite someone. The one bite rule was created whereby the dog was provided one bite without consequence before the owner could be responsible for legal concerns involving the incident; hence the term ‘one bite’. However, the law changed regarding this matter with more dangerous animals, breeds or dogs with a particular temperament causing their owners legal troubles for attacking someone even on the first bite.
The problem of dog bites is the knowledge that the animal could bite someone. When preventative measures have been taken into consideration regarding this knowledge, the owner could avoid liability. However, certain instances where the dog has been harmed previously or provoked into an aggressive action by a house guest could cause legal responsibility to the owner.
One key consideration in dog bite instances is determining if the owner had knowledge or awareness that the dog would attack or bite someone else. Proving this in matters is complicated and sometimes difficult. There is need for enough evidence to be presented to the jury panel or judge that it was ‘more likely than not’ that the owner knew their dog would bite again and must be held liable for the actions of their pet.
Because the one bite rule no longer truly exists when considering dog bite cases, many states have implemented certain rules for dog bite situations. These incidents involve a manner of strict liability that holds the owner responsible and accountable for the actions of their pet even if preventative measures were taken to avoid injuries to others. Strict liability is used so victims may receive compensation.
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