Who is Liable for Bites and Other Animal-Related Injuries?
Most personal injury cases begin with the negligence or carelessness of a person causing harm to another person and the injured seeking financial compensation from the one responsible. However, in some circumstances, it is not the person who does the injuring, but a pet or animal. In situations like these, who is liable and what are the legal grounds for starting a personal injury case? Although the law varies from state to state, in general, it is the owner of the animal that inflicted the injury who is liable.
In the vast majority of cases where an animal bite is inflicted, it is the owner that is legally obligated to pay for the injuries that were inflicted by his or her pet. This is common sense but clarifies the notion that the pet owner should be responsible enough to control the animal and not let it attack another person. Some states are stricter on this than others, but all laws agree that this is the case.
Under certain circumstances, however, there may be an additional liability afforded to another party besides the injured and the animal owner. Generally, this is true for property owners. For example, if a person is bitten by a dog while on someone’s property because the dog was not well kept or agitated, even if he or she was not the owner of the pet, the fact that it happened on someone’s property may make them partially responsible. This is especially true for business owners and landlords, who often are stricter about which pets are allowed on premises because of this possibility.
If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog or other animal and sustained injuries as a result, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention to treat those wounds. After that, you should contact an attorney to review your options about who is responsible for the injury and who would be on the receiving end of a personal injury claim. To learn more about animal injury cases and how the Franco Law Firm can help you resolve yours, please call us at (813) 872-0929 to schedule a free consultation.