Is The Dog Owner Liable For Dog Bites Where The Dog Was Provoked?

If you provoked a dog and it bites you, the dog owner may not always be liable. Most states don’t hold a dog’s owner liable if it was provoked when it bit you. A state’s dog bite statute may limit this, but it won’t completely eliminate the fact that the dog owner will generally be off of the hook.

How is Provocation Defined in a Dog Bite Case?

Teasing, poking, or being mean to a dog is obviously defined as a provocation. But there are different types of provocation as well. Some acts that are unintentional are also considered to be a provocation.A good example is if you were bitten by a dog that you stepped on first. The key is that you have to do something to the dog to make it behave aggressively. If it has been provoked, then the plaintiff is equally at fault and is considered as contributory negligence. You might lose out on full damages, if you are partially at fault.

The First Thing You Must do is Prove that the Action was not Provocation

You don’t have a case if you can’t prove that the dog was not provoked when the dog bit you. That is, you have to convince the judge that the dog was more than 50% likely not provoked when it bit you. It is best to hire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Arcadia.

The Circumstances and the Dog’s Past Behavior are Important

You have to prove that the dog was acting the way and in the condition of mind that a normal dog would be in when it bit you. Keep in mind that you do have a case if an overly sensitive dog goes overboard when slightly provoked. Then you could hold the dog’s owner liable.

The details of the circumstances that transpired when you were bitten are important. You may not have a case, if you put your hands in front of an overly aggressive dog when it was eating.Dog owners who know that their dogs are more aggressive are expected to keep their dogs under control. The dog owner would have less of a provocation defense in that instance.

Effect of State Law

Half of the states have dog bite statutes. These do vary from state to state though. They’re on your side if you’re the plaintiff. That said, they don’t completely eliminate the provocation defense. The defendant can still be off of the hook if he or she can prove that you provoked the dog before it bit you. Some state statutes even have that concept written into their provisions.

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