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Personal Injury: My dog bit someone, can I be held liable?

As an owner of a dog, or any pet for that matter, you may be held responsible for injuries your pet inflicts on others.

However, “dog suit” laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction depending on the legal theory of recovery available in the plaintiff's location. In some areas, the plaintiff/attack victim needs to show that the animal owner knew, or should have known, the animal was inclined to attack or bite. In other areas, the bite victim may only need to show negligence on the part of the owner in order to recover money for the injuries.

Furthermore, if an exotic animal, such as a lion, bear or monkey, injures the victim, the animal's owner may be held accountable under a theory of strict liability for plaintiff's injuries regardless of the plaintiff's conduct.  Some municipalities have statutes which address the responsibility of pet owners to answer for the actions of their pets. In some cases, the pet owner may claim the injured party, an adult not a child, provoked the animal.  If the plaintiff had been given clear warning that an animal should not be approached, petted or talked to, and still proceeds with that action, the owner may be able to avoid responsibility if the animal thereafter attacks the plaintiff. The laws are different if the plaintiff is a child, though.

Once the attack victim (plaintiff) has established that the animal owner (defendant) is liable for his injuries, the plaintiff must also establish the amount of damages. Some examples of damages would be evidence of doctor and hospital bills, lost wages due to the injury, permanent disability caused by the injury, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.

The law office of Morici, Figlioli and Associates (MFA), helps injured individuals recover much-needed compensation from dangerous animal attacks. MFA has obtained many successful verdicts and settlements for people that have been injured by animal attacks, assaults, slip and falls, wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents and many other personal injuries and premises liability cases.  

The MFA team of attorneys specializes in personal injury and they work hard to protect the rights of individuals and seek just compensation for its victims.  MFA has obtained substantial settlements and favorable jury verdicts for clients relating to animal attack victims, workplace injuries, construction site injuries, railroad and aviation injuries, defective products, security negligence, faulty design products, and transportation injury, such as trucking accidents, automobile accidents, workplace negligence, and many other injury claims. 

Contact our office at Morici, Figlioli and Associates (MFA), to arrange a free initial consultation. We are available by phone during our regular business hours from Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm CST, or email us 24/7 and receive a prompt response. Please feel free to call our office at (312) 372-9600.