The "One-Bite" Rule for Dogs

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The number of dogs across the United States is remarkably high, which has led to a rise in the number of dog bite cases. Therefore as a dog owner, the one challenge you should always stay prepared to face is a dog bite claim. In most states, a dog bite is regarded as negligence on the part of the dog owner. Whether the dog owner knew their dog's actions or not is usually not a matter of concern to the adjudicating authorities. The law applied regardless of the dog owner's actions is known as the strict liability principle.

The strict liability principle is not applied across all states. Suppose you are looking to understand the laws applicable in your state. In that case, it is essential to book a consultation for legal advice and further deliberations on your case. The legal standing on what laws are applied in the absence of strict liability law on dog bites is that the victims or affected parties can rely on the one-bite rule.

What does the “One-Bite” Rule Entail?

The "one-bite" rule is a common law principle that is distinct from the strict liability principle. In the case of the "one-bite" rule, the owners of a dog are deemed negligent and liable for injuries sustained by a dog bite victim only when the owner is aware of their dog's vicious nature. Suppose you are looking to understand the extent to which the "one-bite" rule is applicable, our personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles is always ready and willing to accord you the guidance that you require.

Determining the viscous nature of your dog?

As a dog owner, you have the mandate to monitor your dog's behavior if, at all, you intend to safeguard yourself from negligence claims emanating from a dog-bite. Most dog owners regard the "one-bite" rule as a rule that accords them immunity where their dog has caused injury to another for the very first time. Before the actual bite happens, you must note your dog's vicious behavior as a dog owner. A dog that becomes too aggressive at the slightest provocation should put you on notice that there is a possibility of your dog harming someone. For the sole reason that prior vicious behavior serves as notice for potential dog bites; therefore, not every dog owner is free from a negligence claim.

Where a dog owner has taken note of their dog's vicious behavior and proceeded to do nothing about it, the Court might regard the bite occasioned by such a dog as something the said owner had prior knowledge of. Therefore, such a case will be treated differently. You or your insurance company might be compelled to compensate the victim for any injuries sustained if you are facing a negligence claim where the plaintiff alleges that you had prior knowledge or notice of your dog's vicious behavior, get in touch with a legal professional for assistance with your defense.

Other scenarios where the “one-bite” rule is applicable

Dog-bites are not the only injuries that can be expected from your dog. There are some situations where a dog might harm another by doing acts that point towards viciousness. For example, if a dog chases a victim who ends up falling into a ditch and sustaining fractures, the aforesaid victim can sue for compensation for injuries emanating from the viscous nature of the dog other than a dog bite.

Suppose state and federal laws fail to address injuries occasioned by other dog behavior other than a dog bite; the "one-bite" rule will come into place. Therefore strict liability states can still use the "one-bite" rule to determine a case where the victim's injuries did not emanate from a dog-bite. Thus, the "one-bite" principle can be interpreted widely. Both victims and dog owners need to seek an understanding of both laws on dog bites and vicious dog behavior if they intend to build a competent claim or defense. Our dispute lawyer has the required knowledge to interpret both strict liability and the "one-bite" rule. Hence they can help you gain the understanding you require to launch a successful claim or defense.

Do all states recognize the “one-bite” rule in the absence of a strict liability law?

Most people tend to think that in the absence of a strict liability rule, then the “one-bite" rule automatically applies in their case. The case is actually different because, in a state like Pennsylvania, the owner of a dog can only be held liable for their dog's vicious acts, e.g., a dog bite, where the adjudicating authority establishes that the dog's owner was also either partially or fully negligent. Dealing with a vicious dog case in such a state can be hectic if you handle your case without legal help. A lawyer can help with a case analysis that can help you understand whether you have a competent case. Further, a good Los Angeles severe dog bite lawyer, from Gutierrez Law, will ensure that all due diligence in your case has been done before any progress to Court or any authority commences. 

What can a dog bite attorney Los Angeles do for you?

Dog bite and other vicious attacks can cause tremendous adverse effects on the victims' life. A dog owner who believes in their innocence but still ends up paying damages can suffer financial distress. It is always vital that one has a lawyer on board for assistance with every step of the case right from the preliminaries, main hearing, and finally, the settlement.

Dealing with a dog bite dispute, especially in a state that does not recognize both the strict liability and "one-bite" principle, is challenging. One will have to find the right rules and interpretations of the law applicable in their case. With our dog attack attorney, you can have confidence that your case is being competently handled.