Approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year (per the CDC), over 800,000 of whom require medical attention. Dogs may be the source of other injuries as well—for instance, a dog may jump up on someone and knock them down or cause a bike rider to fall off their bike.
How May a Dog Owner be Liable for the Injuries Their Dog Caused?
Owners may be liable under one of the following categories:
The “one-bite” law. A dog owner is liable for injuries their dog causes if they had reason to know their dog might cause that type of injury. A misinformed understanding of the law is that every dog gets a “free” bite, which isn’t necessarily true. While the first bite puts the owner on notice that the dog may be a danger, so does growling threateningly, snapping, or jumping on someone, among other behaviors. Owners may escape liability if the injured party provoked the dog or knowingly risked being injured by the dog.
Strict liability statute. Under this statute, the owner is liable if their dog bites/harms someone who was legally allowed to be where they were when the bite/harm occurred and they did not provoke the dog—even if the owner had no reason to believe their dog would behave as it did.
Unreasonable carelessness. If negligence was shown in controlling a dog, the owner shall be held liable. For instance, an aggressive dog was in their pen, but the gate was left unlatched and the dog escaped and caused injury to someone.
If injured by a dog, contact a personal injury attorney to safeguard your rights.
Contact an Alaska Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured by another dog, an experienced attorney can provide guidance on on how to pursue your claim and analyze ALL the potential damages, which may be considerably hire than initially thought. Alaska attorney Ben Crittenden can help you get the compensation you deserve. Sign up for his free newsletter where Alaska dog victims, vehicle accident victims, and other personal injuries can learn more about their options.