Does the Type of Animal Affect a Bite Injury Case?

If you sustained injury due to the bite of an animal and decided to file a legal claim for the harm you have experienced, your rights may vary depending on the law of your home state or the type of the animal that bit you.


Most of the states made laws that are referred collectively as “dog-bite laws.” These dog-bite laws reinforce the law called as “strict liability” on the owners of the dogs for the injuries caused by their dogs. Strict Liability means that the owner of the dog is liable for the injuries cause by his/her dog, even if the owner is at fault or not.

The dog-bites statutes give importance legally to the persons harmed by the dogs. In some states that do not have these laws, the injured individual carries the burden of showing that the owner of the dog knew or should have known, that his/her dog was fierce and might injure somebody. With the strict liability dog-bite law, the injured individual only has to prove that the dog bit him/her, and whether the owner knows or not, is not the issue.

But an injured individual might be stopped from recovering the damages, although there is the dog-bite law in his/her home state, if the owner of the dog proves that the injured individual aggravated the dog, or was trespassing the owner’s property. Normally, in the states where there are dog-bite laws, the person who is harmed by a dog has easier time showing his/her lawsuit compared to a person bitten by other types of animal.

To know whether your state has particular dog-bite statutes, you must check with an experienced local attorney.

Horses and Domestic Animals

Most of the injuries sustained from the horses are caused by kicks instead of bites. There are many states that do not have particular laws over injuries that are caused by horses, and when these happen, injuries are generally dealt similarly to domestic animals which are under the standard rules of negligence. Under this rule, the owner of the horse is held responsible for the injuries caused by the horse if the owner knows or should have known the hazardous tendencies of the horses. Similarly with other animal cases, the owner of the horse may not be held responsible for the injuries when the owner can show that the injured individual “assumed the risk,” and was “contributory negligently,” or has aggravated or annoyed the horse.

Wild Animals

Individuals who keep or own wild animals are usually subjected to strict liability similar to the owners of the dogs who are liable for dog bites under the dog-bite laws. This is because the act of keeping an animal that is potentially wild and out-of-control is considered harmful. Hence, although the owner of the wild animal goes to maximum measures to safeguard the people from his/her animal like making high fences, when the animal ends up harming a person, the owner can be held responsible, regardless of the efforts that the owner take to safeguard the general public.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

The kind of animals that harms you will affect your legal rights. To know if your home state has particular “dog-bite laws” or other animal-specific laws, and to discuss your probable claims for sustained injury, you can find and contact an experienced attorney.

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