In the US, dog attacks are a common problem and result in serious injuries. The events lead to severe penalties for the dog owner due to an inability to control the dog. In some areas, animal control officers order euthanization for the dog if it attacks a human. Personal Injury Attorneys explain facts about dog attack cases throughout the country.
City or County Ordinances
City and county ordinances dictate the expectations of dog owners. In recent years, counties implemented ordinances to reduce the frequency of attacks. The ordinances establish leash laws and require dogs to stay within outdoor enclosures while outside the home. A violation of a county or city ordinance increases penalties incurred by dog owners.
Is There a One-Bite Ruling?
Some states use one-bite rulings to cut down on how many dog attack cases go to court. The rulings excuse the dog's behavior for the first time it bites a human. If the victim sustains only one bite from the dog, they cannot start a legal claim against the pet owner. States without the one-bite ruling allow lawsuits regardless of how many times the dog bites a human.
Does a Strict Liability Apply?
Strict liability laws vary from state to state. The liability applies to dogs with an aggressive temperament or a history of attacks. However, new laws impose strict liability for the dog breeds that exhibit aggression more frequently. The courts impose strict liabilities if a reasonable individual of sound mind could reach the conclusion that the dog is a danger and the dog attacked a human.
How is the Dog Managed After the Victim Reports the Attack?
The county animal control officers manage the case after the victim reports the animal. The officer contacts the pet owner and establishes if the owner vaccinated for the dog for rabies. For vaccinated dogs, the officer completes an assessment at the owner's home. If not, the dog owner surrenders the dog to a licensed vet for a 12-day quarantine period.
What if the Victim Contracts the Rabies Virus?
Pet owners might face criminal charges if a victim contracted the rabies virus from the dog. Some states might classify the failure as gross negligence, and some pet owners could face manslaughter charges if the victim dies. In most states, the pet owner pays for all rabies treatments, and the family files a wrongful death lawsuit if the victim dies.
In the US, dog attacks result from criminal actions, aggressive temperaments, and territorial behaviors. It is the responsibility of all dog owners to maintain control over their dogs and keep them vaccinated. Victims of a dog attack who needs legal help can contact an attorney in the area now.