Dog Bites: Where Does Liability Lie
WE LOVE DOGS, BUT WHAT IF YOUR NEIGHBOR’S DOG ATTACKS YOU OR CHILD?
Being the victim of a dog attack is decidedly a scary event and in the case of the dog actually biting you, serious injuries may result. If the attack occurred in Kentucky, you have a valid claim against the dog’s owner due to its “strict liability” statute. This states that a dog owner is liable for any damages to a person, livestock or other property.
It doesn’t limit the type of injuries the dog may have caused; they may have jumped on a person, causing them to fall down and sustain an injury. Many states strict liability laws specify certain defenses for the dog owner, such as trespassing or provocation of the dog.
Kentucky’s law however, does not grant that exception and holds the dog owner liable in any case. Kentucky’s courts have come to the conclusion, though, that pure comparative negligence laws should also apply, which reduces the amount of damages assigned to the dog owner by the percentage of fault found by either party.
This is where you will need a lawyer familiar with dog bite cases, whether you are the one that was bitten or you are the dog owner. The victim will have a good case for winning but the award will be proportioned to the extent of fault by both parties.
The dog owner can bring forward facts that include your behavior in not trying to prevent the attack, whether you were trespassing or doing things to deliberately provoke the dog. They will try to show that the victim did not use reasonable care in avoiding the attack. Any facts that show your participation in the attack will lessen the dog owner’s share of fault in the case.
Your attorney’s job is to sort out the facts and get the best settlement possible.