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Dog Bite Accident Defenses

When we are discussing the world of personal injury claims otherwise known as tort law, it is important to understand that they cover a wide range of civil cases. Civil cases are different from criminal cases, as they involve one party, filing suit against another. And the plaintiffs party is generally an independent citizen or organization, separate from the government – according to the team at Levine & Wiss, the best injury lawyer Brooklyn has to offer, these types of cases generally have no type of legal bearing and aren’t there to argue whether the individual committed a crime or not. In criminal law cases, the defendant is fighting against some form of criminal prosecution, whereas in a personal injury case or claim, the defendant is fighting against having to pay some form of compensatory damages to another party. These cases involve a ton of different situations, from car accidents, slip and falls, to dog bit accident cases. In this article, we will be exploring the latter. In such cases, generally an individual dog owner is fighting against a suit, where their dog might have gotten off their leash and bitten an individual. Because they are the owner of the dog, and the dog itself has no rights as a citizen, and therefore cannot defend itself, they are being held liable for the dog’s actions, and their own negligence as they must be responsible for keeping their dog on a leash, and ensure that their dog does not hurt other people. According to most dog bite attorneys, there are a number of different defenses that might be used in court to fight against such a lawsuit. In this article, we will be going over some of these defenses and how they might work in the frame of a courtroom.

Dog owners are usually responsible when their pets bite people or hurt them another way (such as by knocking them over or chasing them). That means that the injured person may sue the owner to seek compensation for the damages, including medical expenses. But it’s not always fair to hold the owner responsible if the victim was to blame for the injury. According to the team at Levine & Wiss, the best injury lawyer Brooklyn has to offer, depending on the circumstances, dog owners (and their homeowners’ insurance companies or attorneys) may fight back by arguing that the injured person:

· provoked the dog

· was trespassing or breaking the law at the time of the injury

· voluntarily risked getting hurt by the dog, or

· contributed to the injury by being unreasonably careless.

According to a number of different dog bite attorneys, these arguments cannot always be used in every type of case or claim – as some defenses aren’t viable in every state. Also, the available defenses can depend on the nature of the lawsuit. When it comes to dog bite cases, there are a few basic rules which we must understand – these include:

· A legal principle known as the “one-bite rule” that makes owners liable if they knew their dogs posed a danger.

· “Strict liability” dog-bite laws in most states that make owners responsible even if they didn’t know the dog could be dangerous.

· Laws or court decisions that make negligent dog owners liable if they were unreasonably careless in controlling their animals.

Defendants of such dog bite cases also need to be aware that the dog-bite laws in many states don’t apply in certain circumstances—mostly commonly, when the injured person provoked the dog or was trespassing. Some of these statutes make the victims (rather than the owners) prove they weren’t at fault. And some defenses may be available if the owner’s liability is based on the one-bite rule or negligence, but not under a dog-bite statute. According to dog bite attorneys, dog owners are generally off the hook, in the event that the individual has provoked the animal, for example, in the event that they might have hit the dog or teased it in a way that caused the dog to try to defend itself. Depending on the circumstances, courts might relieve owners of liability when victims unintentionally provoke dogs by accidentally stepping on their tails, petting strangers’ dogs without permission or the owner, and allowing their children or even their own dogs to come near a dog or interact with them physically without the permission of the owner. In such a case, they are provoking the action. For more information on dog bite accidents, and more, be sure to contact Levine & Wiss today.