Rather than seeking self-help, which can have unexpected consequences, those injured in an animal attack have legal options.

Recently in another east coast state, a bloody fight broke out between neighbors, which sent two to the hospital with stab wounds and cuts, following a dog bite the day before. The animal attack took place the day before the fight during which a man and a woman were injured. The woman was stabbed in the back with a barbecue fork and the man had lacerations to his hands from broken glass. The owner of the dog that caused the injuries in the fight was arrested on assault and other charges. The dog had gone missing, presumably after the bite took place, but is currently with animal control authorities. The public was advised that the dog was aggressive and not to approach it.

Because animal attacks and dog bites can result in serious injuries, the legal system has options in place to protect and help victims. Individuals injured in an animal attack do not have to resort to self-help following their injuries. The victim facing a dog bite or animal bite injury may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the animal’s owner for recovery of medical expenses and other damages.

The liability of the pet owner typically depends on how much the owner was aware of the animal’s propensity to attack or bite. Strict liability is imposed on pet owners in some states for injuries caused by their pets. This means that the pet owner is responsible for the injuries that the animal causes, even if they are unaware of the animal’s dangerous tendencies. In other states, pet owners are liable only if they knew or had reason to know of the pet’s “dangerous propensities.” This is determined by considering whether or not the owner had reason to know that the animal would bite.

For those injured in an animal attack, both physical and emotional pain can be compensated. Damages that can be recovered may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage done by the animal.

Legal options exist for those injured in an animal attack. Rather than resorting to self-help, an animal bite claim may allow for recovery of compensation for the injuries that victims have suffered.

Source: Shores News Today, “Argument over dog bite turns bloody,” James Fitzpatrick, Dec. 28, 2012