To recover damages from the owner of the animal in the states where strict liability “dog bite laws” were not supported, you have to prove that the owner knew all along, or has reasons to know, that the animal is predisposed to bite or attack and that the animal has what is called “vicious propensities.”
The following below defines several common factors can be applied to show that the owner knows or should have known of the vicious propensities of the animal. Take note that this list is limited and aims at showing that one of the things below does not guarantee that you win in a lawsuit.
Breed and Size of the Animal
Normally, the bigger the animal is the higher the chances that the animal can cause injury. The species and the breed of the animal may also be significant if you can show that the breed is inclined to being vicious, like pit bull or Rottweiler.
Purpose Of keeping the Animal
When the animal kept for protection and trained to attack strangers, then, it can be believed that its owner knows or should have known that it may attack somebody.
Frequent Snapping and Biting
When the animal has a history of aggressive behavior, this can be used to show that the owner knows of the vicious tendencies of the animal.
Complaints Were Brought to the Attention of the Owner
When there had been a history of people complaining to the owner and the owner did nothing or did not do enough to avoid future attacks, this can be utilized as a proof that the owner knows the animal can be dangerous.
Fighting with Other Animals
Although an animal did not attack a human being before there is a history that it fought with other animals, this can also be used in showing the aggressiveness tendencies of the animal.
Frequent Confinement of the Animal
When the animal is always kept in a locked cage, or on a tight leash or chain, this may show that the owner knows that the animal is dangerous.
Occasional Muzzling of the Animal
If the owner muzzles an animal, or particularly a dog, on walks or when people are near the animal, this is another proof that the owner knows of the dangerous nature of the animal.
Warning Sign on the Property of the Owner
If the owner of the animal places warning signs like “Beware of Dog,” the injured individual may use this fact to establish that the owner knows that the animal is dangerous.
The Statements by the Owner About the Character of the Animal
Any statement made by the owner of the animal about the past fights, bites, or aggressive behavior are significant to the knowledge of the owner about the tendencies of future attacks.
The Warnings of the Owner to Strangers about the Animal
When the owner gives verbal warnings to others may show that the owner is anxious the animal may harm others.
When you have decided to meet an attorney about an animal attack or bite, you may have to read and know about the dog bite laws of your home state and consider all of the factors mentioned here. You can also talk to people in the community where the animal lives to learn more about the history of the animal. This can help to strengthen your lawsuit even if your home state lacks the strict liability dog bite laws.