A dog bite can cause serious injuries that often require significant and ongoing medical treatment. It’s essential to find out who is liable for a dog bite, especially if it happens on someone else’s property. That way you will know who will pay for your damages.
To determine who is liable for a dog bite that happens on another person’s property, you must first understand liability. Liability does not necessarily mean who is at fault for the dog bite. Liability indicates that a party is financially responsible.
In most cases, an insurance company will be financially liable for a dog bite, including renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. Some people who know their dog is dangerous must have a separate liability policy in case of a dog attack.
If insurance is not available to cover damages resulting from a dog bite, then the following parties may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Dog owner
- Property owner
- Property occupier/renter
- Property management company
Determining Liability for a Dog Bite on Someone Else’s Property
The owner or occupier of a property must uphold a certain standard of care to people who come onto their property. That standard of care involves maintaining a safe environment for everyone who enters the premises legally.
This includes ensuring dangerous animals are not risks to guests or installing warning signs about a known dangerous animal.
Responsibility to Invited Guests
In most cases, a dog owner is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for anyone lawfully on their property. This applies to property owners and occupiers (such as renters).
Failure to take reasonable care in restraining a dog or warning of a dangerous dog can result in liability for an injured person’s damages.
What About Trespassers?
There are limited situations in which a property owner might be responsible for a dog bite to a trespasser. However, if a person is unlawfully on another person’s property – attempting to commit a crime, for example – the property owner is not likely to be held responsible.
Dog Bite Liability FAQs
Dog bite liability can be confusing. Here are answers to some common questions about dog attacks.
Who Is Liable if I’m at Someone Else’s House and Another Guest’s Dog Bites Me?
More than one party may be liable in this situation. The dog owner would be responsible. However, if the property owner was aware that the dog might be dangerous, they could also be liable.
It’s always best to include all possible parties in a dog bite claim. If you leave anyone out, you might not get all the compensation you need.
Is It Reasonable to Expect Not to Be Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
Yes. Premises liability law indicates that a property owner is responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment for lawful guests. If the property owner or occupier is negligent in that standard of care, they can be held liable for your damages.
Does a Dog Owner Have a Duty of Care to Those Around Them?
Yes. A dog owner must ensure their dog does not bite or attack others who are lawfully on the same property as a dog. The exception is if a person harasses a dog in its enclosure and the dog bites them, then the dog owner may not be responsible.
Is a Homeowner Responsible for Someone Else’s Dog if it Attacked Someone Before?
Yes. If a property owner is aware that a dog has attacked someone else in the past, then they are aware that the dog is dangerous. They should take action to keep the dog away from lawful guests to maintain a safe environment on their property.
Call Anderson Injury Lawyers After a Dog Bite
If a dog bites or attacks you on someone else’s property, multiple parties may be to blame. Don’t wait to file a claim. The insurance companies may try to point fingers and avoid liability. Call Anderson Injury Lawyers as soon as possible at 817-294-1900 or use our online contact form to reach out.