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Owners and Pets: Strict Liability Means Owners Are Responsible


Dog bites can leave you with serious wounds that take time to heal; the same time you could be spending working or participating in other activities. On top of that, the surgeries and hospitalization you may need could cost you thousands of dollars. Who should pay the bill? What can you do to be compensated for the anxiety and stress of this situation?

If an animal bites you, the first thing to do is always to seek medical attention. Your health is the most important thing, and above all else, you should get the treatment you need quickly. After you are stabilized and in a position to speak with police and your attorney, you'll want to start noting information about the animal. Do you know whose it is or where to find it? If so, then you can reach out with your attorney to start a claim.

Now, you'll want to explain the sequence of events that led to the bites you received. Were you an innocent bystander? If you were teasing or hurting the animal, you may be held partially liable for your injuries, but otherwise, no animal should ever attack and the owner should be held liable for the injuries you've suffered.

Owners are held to strict liability for their pets. If their pets are found to be dangerous, then the state can take them away and place the animal into quarantine or take other actions. These steps are taken to prevent further attacks and injuries to people. In some cases, the animals may be put to sleep if they are found to be vicious.

Source: FindLaw, "Dog Bites and Animal Attack Overview," accessed Sep. 17, 2015