If you’ve been bitten or seriously injured by someone else’s dog, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the owner. Doing so will make it easier to pay for the treatment and recovery costs of your injuries as well as ensure that the dog owner learns to be responsible for their pet. In order to file a lawsuit, you’ll need to know how dog bite laws are handled within your state. Every state handles these cases quite differently.
In the state of Kentucky, dog bite lawsuits are considered “strict liability” cases. What this means is that a dog owner is 100% liable for any damage their dog causes to “a person, livestock, or other property,” even if that dog has never been aggressive in the past. If the owner tried to prevent the attack and/or used reasonable methods to control the dog but the attack still occurred, that owner is still fully liable. In other words, there is no need to prove that any negligence occurred.
This counts for more than just dog bite injuries, too. If a property owner’s dog, for example, jumps on you and knocks you over, causing injury, it’s possible to file a lawsuit against the owner. In this instance, the injuries were directly caused by the dog’s actions. Under Kentucky dog bite law, there is no difference between a case of this nature and a dog bite case.
Some state laws allow property owners to claim certain defenses during a dog bite lawsuit, stating that the victim, for example, provoked the dog or was trespassing on private property when the attack happened. In Kentucky, these defenses cannot be claimed. Even if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing, the lawsuit will still stand. Either of these facts, however, may severely impact the damages amount the victim may be able to claim.
Kentucky Dog Bite Law for Property Owners
If you’re reading this article as the owner of a dog that harmed someone else, you can potentially reduce the damage costs you may have to pay by revealing every detail about the incident. Did the victim provoke the dog in any way? Did they walk unnecessarily close to your front yard? Make all this information known, showing evidence if at all possible, and the court may state that the victim was partially at fault for their injuries and reduce the amount of damages owed.
When a Kentucky court decides that a victim was partially at fault for an attack, the damages amount will be lowered by a set percentage based on the portion of liability they are responsible for. If, for example, the judge decides that the victim shouted at your dog and provoked the animal into attacking, the judge may decide that the victim was 50% at fault. This would lower the amount due to the victim by 50%. This amount will be decided on based upon the specifics of the case and any evidence.
Get Help from a Lexington, KY Personal Injury Lawyer
If any of this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Dog bite cases can definitely be complicated, but with the right attorney on your side, you can ensure that, as a victim of a dog attack, you get the help you need to recover. A skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney will do everything they can to fight for your rights and gather the evidence you need to secure your lawsuit.
Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY bodily injury claim lawyer, is ready to assist you if you’ve been injured by a dog on someone else’s property. Under Kentucky law, you will generally have a period of one year from the time of a dog bite injury to file a lawsuit against the guilty party. This period is referred to as a statute of limitations. Contact our office to learn more or receive a free consultation.