If you own a dog, you're at risk of your dog biting someone. Understanding that you face this risk is an essential step toward protecting yourself and your finances in case it should happen. When you understand the possible defenses, you are in a better position to approach a court hearing, even if the other party has a personal injury attorney. Here's a look at some potential defenses that you can use in court against a dog bite case.
Your Dog Was Provoked
If you can prove that the victim of the bite provoked your dog before the incident, you might not be liable for the injury. Provocation doesn't have to be blatant teasing or aggressive actions toward your dog. In fact, provocation can even be something as simple as stepping on your dog's tail or moving toward the pup too fast and causing a startle response.
Provocation isn't a guaranteed defense, though. If your dog has already developed a history of aggression or fear of people, that may contribute to the judgement. Talk to a personal injury attorney before the case to see if your dog's behavior problems will be a consideration in court.
The Victim Knew the Risks
If the victim of the bite knew that there was a risk of being bitten, you might be able to use that knowledge as a defense. This is often used as a defense when someone breaches a warning sign such as "Beware of Dog" signs.
For victims who serve as care providers, like dog walkers and pet sitters, knowing the risks is as easy as knowing your pet. If the care provider has taken care of your pet before and is familiar with the dog's temperament, it can be a solid defense for a bite case.
The Victim Committed a Crime
Sometimes, a dog bite that occurs while the victim is committing a crime, such as trespassing, isn't considered a liability for the dog owner. If your state has a provision for crime commission, you might be find the case dismissed simply due to the fact that it happened during the commission of a crime. A personal injury lawyer can tell you if your state has laws that cover this.
No matter how you look at it, it's in your best interest to work with an attorney who can provide you with insight into your defense options. If any of these situations apply to your dog bite case, you'll want to be sure that you build a solid defense. The more information you can present in court, the better chance you have of being cleared in the case. Attorneys like Charles Aaron PLC can help you understand your options and answer any questions you might have.