If you have suffered a dog bite injury, you need to identify all the liable parties to boost your chances of recovering full damages. Answering these four questions will help you figure out the liable parties:
Who Is the Dog Owner?
In most cases of dog bites, the dog owner is held liable for the damages because animal owners are expected to take measures to prevent their animals from harming others. For example, dog owners are supposed to keep people safe from their animals by keeping them on a leash while outside the home. Dog owners should also fence their homes to prevent their dogs from escaping and harming the public. This is why one of the first things to do if you have been attacked by a dog is to identify its owner.
How Old Is the Dog Owner?
The issue of age also comes into question because some people are too young to be held civilly liable for their actions. Young kids, for instance, may not know the consequences of letting dogs run loose, and they may not have the means to prevent dog bites either. Therefore, if you are bitten by a dog owned by a three-year-old, you should look for the parent or guardian of the three-year-old. Here, the principle of parental liability applies because the parent should have made sure that their kid does not own a dangerous dog or kept the dog from harming others.
Who Was Taking Care of the Dog?
Just because you own a dog doesn't mean that you have to take care of it 24/7. You may hire a dog sitter to take care of the animal if you are busy, a dog walker to help the animal exercise or even take the dog to a kennel if you will be away for an extended period. In any of these cases, the person who was taking care of the dog at the time of the attack will be held liable for the damages. For example, if a dog owner hires a neighbor to look after the dog while the dog owner works, the neighbor may be liable for injuries caused by the dog while the owner is away.
Where Was the Dog?
Lastly, you should also factor in where you were while you were under attack because it also determines the liable parties. For example, if you are attacked by a dog in a public building, then the owners or managers of the building may also be liable for your injuries. Again, this makes sense because building owners or managers are expected to keep their visitors safe.
For more information or assistance, contact a local attorney, such as Loughlin Fitzgerald P C.