A dog bite victim involved in a dog attack incident must prove two things:
- The animal had “vicious propensities” and
- The owner of the dog involved in the dog attack incident knew or should have known the dog was vicious.
If the dog has bitten someone before, the dog will generally be considered vicious—the dog bite law then presumes that the owner had knowledge of the dog’s “vicious propensities.” Even if the dog has not bitten someone before, the owner may be found responsible for your dog bite injury if he or she knew that the dog had vicious or mischievous propensities.
For example, if the dog is kept for protection and as a watch dog, the owner should know the dog has a propensity to bite. Additionally, if the dog that bit you showed its teeth, growled and/or charged anyone in the past, the dog may be found to be vicious and the owner may be responsible for your injuries. If any neighbors, a mail carrier, or friends of the owner of the dog advise you of any prior vicious propensities they observed, you should advise your dog bite attorney immediately.
If you are a dog bite victim and you believe there may be a case against the dog owner, submit your free “Do I Have a Case?” evaluation.