That cute and cuddly dog that you see all the time at the local park may not be so cute and cuddly after you've been bitten by it. While dogs are generally kind and gentle, if somehow spooked or provoked, they become defensive and can end up biting someone. And that bite can not only hurt, but can be quite dangerous as well, especially if the dog has not had a rabies shot. When you find that you've got to seek extensive medical treatment for the bite, it can become expensive. So you need to consider options in order for your medical bills to be paid, and for that you may want to turn to a personal injury attorney. Here is an overview on proving liability in a dog bite case.
Proving Liability in Dog Bite Cases
The biggest issue you'll have to contend with in a dog bite case is proving liability. You need to be able to prove that the dog owner was liable for the dog biting you. And how you prove liability depends on the laws in the state you live in.
There are states that have you prove liability on something called strict liability. Under these laws, most dog owners are liable for the dog's actions. There are a couple of exceptions, however, like if you were taunting the dog, or if you crossed onto the property of the dog owner.
Then there are states that have one bite laws. These laws say that the dog owner isn't at fault the first time the dog bites. However, all bites after that are deemed to be the dog owner's fault.
If your case doesn't meet the grounds that are necessary for you to prove the dog owner was liable, you may still have the grounds to sue the dog owner, but you will need to prove that the dog owner was negligent and that negligence allowed the dog to attack you. If you live in a state with a one bite law, and the dog owner failed to keep their dog on a leash as mandated by law (and this would be a perfect example if you encountered the dog in the park), the dog owner may be held liable even if this was the dog's first bite.
Talk to your personal injury attorney for more specific examples and a more detailed explanation regarding the dog bite injury laws in your state.