Are You A Defendant In A Dog Bite Case? You'll Need To Make These Points
When one person's dog bites another person, the victim will frequently hire a personal injury attorney and sue the dog owner. If you're the owner of the dog in question, you'll also want to retain an injury attorney who focuses on personal injury cases and build a defense. While the evidence may indeed show that your dog bit the other person and he or she was seriously injured, a strong defense may either absolve you from having to pay a settlement or perhaps lower the settlement amount. Provided that these elements actually happened, here are some points on which to build your case.
You Sought To Evade The Person
Dog bite incidents can sometimes happen when one person is walking his or her dog and the victim gets too close. This doesn't mean that the dog is aggressive, it may simply be afraid of strangers. Make the argument that you actively sought to evade the person, but he or she moved directly into your path, perhaps because of wanting to pet the dog. For example, you could state how, as you saw someone approaching, you decided to switch to the other side of the street, only for the person to cross to where you were.
You Provided Clear Verbal Warnings
Verbal warnings are another key element of a dog bite defense. Lots of people think that all dogs are friendly and can be petted, but this isn't always the case. You need to be able to argue that you asked the person to stay away from your dog and not attempt to touch it. For example, perhaps you recall saying something to the effect of, "Please don't get any closer. My dog is anxious around strangers and I don't want you to get bitten." If the person failed to heed your warning, it demonstrates some degree of negligence on his or her part.
The Victim Acted In An Antagonizing Way
Some people get bitten by dogs because they act in a manner that makes the dog fearful or aggressive. For example, maybe the person was put off by you not wanting him or her to touch your dog, and reacted in a hostile manner. He or she could have growled at the dog and maybe even thrown something at it. Such instances can understandably cause any animal to feel threatened, and your dog may have lashed out as a result. The more arguments you can make that shift the responsibility toward the victim, the stronger your case will be.