State Laws and Liability Dog Insurance Issues

liability dog insurance

There are certain laws that determine dog bite liability, and these of course vary from state to state. Dog owners need to know exactly what the liability issues are in whichever state they live. Basically, there are two kinds of laws: liability when the owner of the dog knows (or should know) that the dog might be prone to biting someone, and then there is liability regardless of what the owner knew or should have known. Having liability dog insurance helps pay for any damages.

”One Bite” laws work to the dog owners’ advantage

The “One Bite” law is applied in about 40% of the states in the US. Generally stated, it once meant that a dog was allowed “one excused bite” before its owner wound up in legal trouble. Now, however, the one bite rule doesn’t necessarily allow a dog to bite someone without consequence. If an owner knows the particular breed is dangerous, the owner could be liable for that first time that an incident occurs.

The owner simply must take necessary precautions, all the more true based on his or her knowledge of the animal. For example, a dog that is prone to snapping at people should always be restrained. The owner could also be held liable if someone approaches the dog, is not properly warned about the animal’s aggressive behavior, and is subsequently bitten.

The dog’s breed, how the owner went about training the dog, how the owner typically restrained the dog under necessary circumstances, and for what purpose the owner bought the dog, for example, protection, could all be used in determining if there is a viable case against the owner of the dog.

“Strict Liability” dog bite laws

The majority of states have enacted “dog bite” statutes that provide specific rules for dog bite liability cases. “Strict liability” means that the defendant is held liable in the event that a specific event occurs, and this may be regardless of whether or not the defendant could have done anything to prevent the event from occurring.

As the owner of a dog that may be prone to biting or attacking, you should carry sufficient liability dog insurance. Because, in a court of law, if the plaintiff did not provoke the dog in any way, and was within his right to be located where he was at the time of the attack, then the defendant would be liable for the dog biting this person.

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