FAQ on Dog bite claims.
In your typical dog bite case, a child or other victim is exposed to and mauled by an aggressive dog. These animals, though considered pets, can inflict serious injuries and even death, particularly if this attack is on a child. These cases often involve failure to provide a safe environment in the case of child care, failure to exercise control over the dog, failure to warn of the dog’s propensities, and other negligence in the housing or control of the animal.
Is there liability?
When a dog attacks, liability can be established if the owner of the dog was negligent. Much of this is based on the facts concerning the particular animal. The history of the dog in the area and how the dog was kept, whether indoors, outdoors, chained or running at large. It is important to get a good description of the animal. We need to know the breed, the size, sex, color, whether it is purebred or mixed and the name of the animal. The behavior of the animal in the past is significant, including the frequency and occasion of the growls, barks, chasing and other unruly or excited behaviors. Knowledge of past incidents involving this dog including previous bites and attacks are of particular importance. We need to know if the owner of the dog had notice that you were on the land and whether there was a previous history. We need to know whether the reaction of the dog to you was observed at some point by the owner. We need to know what you were doing before the attack and what the dog was doing as well. Eye witnesses are also important, if available.
Who is liable?
In Kansas, the court will dismiss a claim against a landlord if that person was not the owner, possessor, keeper, or harborer of a dog owned by their tenants. Usually no one but an owner, possessor, keeper, or harborer of an animal can be held liable.
Your actions are important as well. For example, in a Kansas case where a child was bitten by a lion that was kept by the animal owners, the court found that the child’s parents were comparatively negligent.
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