Animal owners are generally expected to control their pets and livestock from harming others and their property. However, dog bites and animal attacks are, unfortunately, common and can leave victims with devastating and sometimes life-threatening injuries. While it may seem rather straightforward to allege that a person’s dog attacked and caused harm to a victim, in some cases, pet owners assert defenses in an attempt to avoid legal liability.
For example, a dog owner may claim that a victim trespassed onto their property at the time of the dog attack. They may claim that they posted warnings regarding their vicious animal and that their animal was contained on the grounds of their property. They may attempt to assert that the alleged victim brought the harm upon themselves by entering the dog owner’s land without permission and with a warning of the danger they may face.
Also, a dog owner may attempt to claim that a dog bite victim provoked or irritated their pet into action. If a victim is found to have roused a dog’s aggressions through their own actions, this can sometimes mitigate the responsibility the owner has for the victim’s damages. However, this defense may not always hold water, especially when young children are involved.
A dog bite victim should always be prepared for the possible claims and defenses a pet owner will allege when they initiate litigation for their damages. The help of a personal injury attorney can be of great importance to those individuals who want to hold the negligent pet owners liable.