Choosing The Perfect Counsel

Can You Really Be Held Liable When Your Dog Bites An Intruder?

Most dog owners understand and accept the fact that they may be held liable if their dog bites someone, particularly if the bite resulted from negligence. But what is your legal standing when your dog bites someone who was engaging in illegal or threatening behavior themselves? There are plenty of urban legends and conflicting opinions surrounding the liability of a dog owner whose dog bites an intruder, but the truth is that your legal vulnerability will largely depend on the state you live in and the unique circumstances of the incident in question. 

Understanding the Assumption of Risk and Negligence

The primary defense for a homeowner whose dog has bitten an intruder is that the intruder assumed the risk as soon as he or she chose to illegally enter the property. Even many states with strict dog bite laws include a provision that the bite victim must not have been engaged in unlawful activities when the bite took place. In most cases, if someone breaks into your home or another building on your property and your dog acts to defend its home, a court will rule in your favor. 

Examining Areas of Hazy Liability 

Not every case of dogs biting intruders is so clear cut, however. Say, for example, that your dog bites a salesman or religious spokesperson after that person puts a foot inside your doorway to keep a conversation going. In some states, this may be interpreted as entering a home uninvited and therefore count as trespassing, while other states will see this as a public interaction governed by standard dog bite laws. If your case falls under a grey area such as this, consult with an experienced dog bite attorney to get a better idea of where you and your dog stand legally. 

Protecting Yourself From Liability

If your dog has not bitten anyone yet, or if you want to protect yourself from liability in the future, a few quick actions can significantly improve your case in court. Putting up a basic "beware of dog" sign, for example, provides ample warning to any would-be intruders and offers them no excuses for the consequences of their actions. You should also ensure that your dogs are vaccinated regularly to avoid expensive testing and the possibility of being sued over more extensive medical bills. With the right precautions, a good dog bite attorney and a thorough understanding of the laws in your area, you can shield yourself from a potentially ruinous liability case and protect your dog for acting according to its basic instincts and loyalty.  

About Me

Choosing The Perfect Counsel

If you have ever been accused of a crime, then you know the absolute sinking feeling in your gut. It can be incredibly devastating to cope with the thought of living the rest of your life behind bars, which is why choosing the perfect counsel is crucial. I started thinking about who to work with a few years ago when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do, and it was scary. However, I knew that by focusing on my innocence and finding the right professional, things would be manageable. Check out this blog for great information on choosing counsel.


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