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Dog Bite Injuries and Animal Attack Laws

Dog bites and other animal attacks can cause dangerous disease, serious illness, personal injury or even death.

Animal attack laws vary from state to state. Some states have a rule called “every dog gets one bite”. The theory behind this law is that the owner should not be liable for its dog’s malicious behavior until he or she is on notice that the dog has a propensity for vicious behavior. As a result, once the dog bites someone, the owner is now on alert that the dog has vicious propensities and is responsible to make sure the dog does not have the opportunity to bite another person. However, in Hawaii, a victim of a dog bite or animal attack can file a claim for the animal’s very first attack.

Several people can be liable for the attack including the owner of the animal, the injured child’s parents, and the owner of the property where the accident occurred.

Hawaii and other states have “dog bite laws” which hold the owner of an animal who attacked someone strictly liable for the injured person’s injuries. Strict liability is a legal term that means the owner does not have to be negligent to be liable. In fact, the owner does not have to do anything wrong to be found liable for its dog’s attack. Strict liability laws are enacted in situations where legislatures feel that the behavior in question has such severe consequences that the responsible person should be held liable regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

Because animal attacks are strict liability offenses, animal owners with animals who may strike must take precaution to keep their animals away from people. They must warn people to stay off their property and keep their animals leashed when off their property. They must reasonably control their pets.

Victims of animal attacks may be entitled to financial compensation. The time limits and liability issues can affect a settlement, thus it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to file the case at the appropriate time.


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