Evansville Dog Bite Injury Attorney
Dog bite injuries are a common basis for personal injury recovery, as dog owners in the Evansville and Newburgh area are under a duty to protect others from harm at the behest of their pets. Under modern principles of dog bite law, owners are liable to bite victims in any situation where the owner had knowledge, or reason to know, of the dog’s propensity for violence or aggression. This can take the form of a history of bites, difficulty controlling the animal or a tendency to jump or lunge at other people. Owners who are aware of their dog’s vicious tendencies may be liable to any other person bitten, injured or killed by the dog.
There are certain defenses to dog bite liability that a defendant is free to raise should he face a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, the law does not protect trespassers against injury inflicted by a dog on his own property. However, the law also does not protect property owners who use deadly force to protect property. These two legal notions must be weighed against one another by a dog bite injury attorney to determine whether the owner should be held liable to the plaintiff for his or her injuries. Secondly, owners can assert a defense of assumption of the risk in a situation where the injured plaintiff taunted, teased or otherwise provoked the animal to attack. This defense is heavily fact-driven and will require testimony from witnesses as to how the plaintiff was behaving immediately prior to the bite or attack.
Owners of dogs having never bitten or attacked another person might be able to escape liability depending on the facts of the situation. An Evansville dog bite injury attorney is experienced in the nuances of dog bite litigation and can help plaintiffs determine whether the dog meets the criteria of having a propensity for violence. Certainly a dog with a record of biting others in the past would meet the requirements. However, dogs do not have a history of biting as often as they have a history of lunging or jumping on others. This conduct can be considered aggression in certain situations depending on the facts of the case and the particular breed involved.