Who is liable for a dog bite while someone went to pet it? 24 Answers as of March 09, 2011

A dog bit someone while secured to a tree. This individual went to the dog to pet it. Is there a claim here?

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Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
There is not enough information to answer the question fully. However, it is presumed that it is the responsibility of the owner to insure the safety of others in the presence of the dog.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 3/9/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
The jury will have to divide the fault between the person who left the dog unattended and the person who approached the unfamiliar dog. If the dog was known to be aggressive and was nonetheless left unattended, it could be a very good case. You should consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/9/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
In NC I doubt it. you have to prove the dog had a vicious propensity first and then prove the person advancing on the dog was not partly at fault. Doesn't sound like much of a case.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 3/9/2011
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
Normally, not a viable claim. But it may depend on whether or not the owner of the dog encouraged or allowed the person to approach the dog, and if the owner knew the dog may bite. However, it will be a difficult case, if the owner did nothing, except have a dog secured to a tree. Nevertheless, if a claim is brought, then it must be referred to your insurance carrier or an attorney who handles personal injury claims.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 3/9/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
Probably not.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 3/9/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There will be a claim here as long as the person was not teasing tormenting or abusing the dog. Please contact us if you wish to discuss further; we have a free initial consultation. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/9/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    The law in California is that you used to get one free bite with your dog before you would be held liable. Not any longer. CA Civil Code section 3342 now makes an owner strictly liable for his or her dogs biting someone in a public place: (a) The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/9/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Yes, Florida has a strict liability statute that says if you own a dog, and that dog bites someone, the owner is responsible......unless the person bitten provokes the dog, and simply trying to pet it is not provocation, in my opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/9/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There is a claim if the homeowner knew the dog might bite someone if left unattended and attached to a tree. That would be negligent act. There is some comparative negligence as the person should not walked up to a strange dog but there is likely a claim anyway as the burden is on the homeowner to curb their dog.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/9/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    Maybe. You need to talk to an attorney experienced in handling these type of cases. Good luck & best wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/9/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    There might be would need to know more facts.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/9/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, unless the person was trespassing on the dog owners land, there is a case (assuming no provocation as well) Call me by clicking the link to the left.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C.
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C. | L. Todd Kelly
    There may be a claim, but I would need more information. If the dog had a propensity for violence, or had previously shown violent tendencies, that may well make the dog's owner liable. It also matters where the tree was - on private property owned by the dog owner? On public property where it was more likely that people would try to pet the dog? There are too many questions raised by your inquiry to be able to give an answer - without more facts.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    The person who was bitten may have a case, based upon the information that you have supplied. We would be happy to provide a free consultation at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts the case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement.

    Thank you for your email, and we look forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    If you were visiting the person or the dog got loose, the homeowners insurance /homeowner is liable. if you walk into someones yard without being invited, they would not be at fault. All states are different. Our website has a lot of inform. on dog bites.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    The dog owner, especially if the dog has bitten before, is a dangerous breed, or has dangerous propensities. In terms of collectability, homeowners or renters insurance usually covers such a claim. Please call if you need further assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    In Utah, a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by the dog. You have a legal case against the owner. If you'd like to speak with an attorney, I'd be happy to help you, call me.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Yes against the owner of the dog.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Suisman Shapiro
    Suisman Shapiro | John A. Collins
    As long as the individual was not tormenting or teasing the dog the owner or keeper of the dog can be held liable under CT's "dog bite" statute. In many instances these claims are covered under a homeowner's insurance policy. Call if you have further questions.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    If the dog had previously bitten someone or was a dangerous breed. The injury must be severe or no attorney will touch it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2011
    El Dabe Law Firm
    El Dabe Law Firm | Edmond El Dabe
    In California, the dog owner is STRICTLY liable. That means that whether or not the owner knew the dog was going to bite, the dog's owner is responsible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2011
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