Friday, October 3, 2008

Liability in Dog Bites and Animal Attack Incidents

Besides being attacked by animals or dogs, the worse one could experience is having bitten and injured by dogs. No one knows exactly how one feels when being injured in such incidents except the victim himself.

Hence, in most cases, claiming damages for injury in a dog bite incident is only the practicable resource of a victim.

Take the case of the issue in the article, ”Jennifer Lopez’ Husband Marc Anthony to be Joined in Dog Bite Lawsuit”, posted on September 5, 2008. According to this article, the incident occurred while the victim was on board a private jet together with the celebrity couples, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and their pet dog.

Reports said the dog tried to bite the victim on the leg which caused him to fall and hurt his back. As a result, the victim filed a claim for injuries against the couple.

In most animal and dog bite incidents, the owners can be held responsible for animal bites. However, other parties may also be held at fault in some instances:

• Animal Keepers - The owner or keeper can be held responsible for an animal bite if an animal escapes a cage or zoo and causes injury.
• Property Owners - A property owner can be liable for injuries caused by an animal that the property owner allowed onto his or her property.

• Parents of Minors – for a person under 18 years of age who owns the animal, an injured person can bring a legal claim against the minor's parents, even if the parents had no direct involvement with the animal

• Landlords – when an apartment landlord knew that a tenant owned a dangerous animal, the landlord may also be liable for animal bite injuries.

In California, liability in dog bite incidents is governed by strict liability, meaning the owner of an animal is strictly held liable for its behavior. Thus, the owners are often held responsible for the injuries they caused to their victims.