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What are the Legal Rights of a Child Bitten / Injured by a Dog?

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


Dogs are present in every community. Most dog owners are quite responsible and make sure that the dog is placed in a secure area with proper fence or enclosure. Otherwise, the dog owner has the dog on a leash and keeps the dog under control at all times. Unfortunately, many dog owners are not so responsible and allow the dog to roam free or ignore problems with inadequate fences or enclosures. When a dog roams free, dog bite incident can and do occur. An injured child is entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a dog bite. The liability for a dog bite incident will depend on the State and local dog bite and dog leash laws in effect. Here are the types of dog bite laws that may be in effect.

Strict Liability Standard. In the States that adopt the strict liability standard for dog bites, the dog owner is liable for the injuries caused by a dog bite regardless of negligence and / or the prior known aggressiveness of the dog.

One Bite Rule Standard. Some States adopt the “One Bite” standard which means that the dog owner is not liable for a dog bite unless the dog had bitten before.

Negligence Standard. A dog owner is liable in a State that adopts the “Negligence” standard if the following elements can be proved: Duty, Breach of Duty, Causation, and Damages.

Defenses. Some States provide for a complete or partial defense if a Bad Dog sign is posted. Furthermore, there may be a defense if the injury victim is a trespasser. There may also be a defense if the dog was provoked.

Since dog bite laws can be complicated, it is important for the parents of a child bitten by a dog to contact a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and legal representation. A dog bite injury case can be handled on a contingency basis which means that no attorney fees will be charged by the Child Injury Lawyer unless there is a financial recovery / compensation for the dog bite related personal injuries.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Medical Bills & Treatment, Dog Bite Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

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