Beebe and O'Neil

Different dog bite fault scenarios

Connecticut has a large number of domesticated dogs. This means that a person’s chance of being bitten by a dog can also be somewhat high. However, not everyone knows where the fault lies in a dog bite scenario, and the fault can also differ from case to case.

Though the laws vary depending on state, there are some cases in which the dog will not be at fault for a bite. The Legal & Historical Animal Center says that some states have strict liability laws which mean the owner of the dog is responsible for any bite that happens, with the exception being if the dog was provoked intentionally. For example, if a child is poking a dog with a stick and gets bitten, the owner’s liability may be excused because of the provocation on the part of the child.

The outcome of a case can also depend on the owner’s knowledge of their dog’s bite history. Some states will be lenient on dogs who do not have a history of bites or attacks, especially if the case of the bite involves provocative actions on the part of the attacked party. Other questions that are asked can include whether or not the dog was taking part in “dangerous activities” at the time that the bite occurred. If an owner does not know about a prior tendency toward aggressive behavior, judges are more likely to rule them not legally liable.

Divine Caroline also featured an article on a woman who adopts out dogs, and she stated that in-house bites are also often the fault of the family and not the dog. The professional advice of dog caretakers is to ensure that the environment is safe for the dog in question, and for the family adopting it to understand behavioral signals from dogs to avoid agitating them and bringing on a bite.

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