This question can be answered two ways: first, by addressing what a dog bite victim must prove to win compensation, and second, by explaining what kind of compensation the victim can get.
Dog bite cases are decided under the law of the state in which the bite occurred. In the states where we practice — North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — the burden of proof falls on the victims. To obtain compensation for a dog bite injury, the victim sometimes has to prove that the animal had dangerous propensities and that the owner knew or should have known of those propensities. This is sometimes called the “one-bite rule,” because the law rarely holds an owner accountable the first time a dog bites a person. After the first bite, though, the owner is on notice of the likelihood the dog will bite, so the owner is required to exercise reasonable care to prevent subsequent bites.
However, under certain circumstances, a court may hold a negligent dog owner liable for a first bite. By law, the owner must know the general, natural inclinations of the class of animal he owns. For example, an owner should be aware that fireworks are likely to frighten his dog, so a court could decide that bringing such a dog to a fireworks display, where it might become distressed and bite a stranger who passed by too closely, was negligent. If an owner has an animal bred to be a guard dog and places it untied in a yard with a low fence, the owner might be found negligent if the dog hops the fence and bites a passerby.
If you are the victim of a dog attack, you can be compensated with monetary damages for various types of injuries, including:
If you have suffered a serious injury in an animal attack, contact a law firm with more than 200 years of combined experience representing injury victims. Call Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban at (888) 351-1038 or contact our personal injury lawyers online to schedule a free consultation.
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