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How does the type of animal impact an animal bite case?

As a previous post highlighted, a dog bite could be a serious injury, causing a victim pain and a dog owner with liability. But, residents in Arizona and other states across the nation keep a variety of animals as pets, and these domestic animals pose various risks to the visitors, strangers and trespassers that encounter these animals.

How does the type of animal impact an animal bite case? Most are aware of the common animal bite, which is the dog bite. Dog bites occur at high enough rates that most states have enacted specific laws regarding dog bites.

In some cases, strict liability applies. This means that the dog owner will be responsible for the injuries suffered, regardless of whether the owner was actually at fault. Regardless of the dog bite statute enacted though, the injured party still must prove that the specific dog injured him or her. Additionally, he or she must prove that they did not provoke the dog.

Horses, as well as other domestic animals, pose risks. While horses pose a greater risk of kicking than biting, some states have specific laws regarding injuries caused by certain animals.

Typically, the liability of these injuries is based under the standard rules of negligence. This means that an owner could be held liable, if the owner had knowledge or reason to know of the animal's dangerous tendencies. Though, in the case of horses, the injured party cannot assert liability on the owner if the injured party assumed the risk or was contributory negligent.

When animal owners keep wild animals as pets, strict liability applies to these animals. The reason for this is because keeping an animal that is potentially uncontrollable and vicious is considered to be inherently dangerous. This means that even if the owner goes to extreme measures to protect people from the animal, the owner will be held liable regardless of the efforts made to protect others from the animal.

Being injured by a domestic or a wild animal kept as a pet is often an unexpected event. Even more so, serious injuries are often suffered in such an attack. Thus, the injured party is likely to suffer many damages as a result. A personal injury could help the injured victim recover compensation from the negligent owner.

Source:, "Does the Type of Animal Affect a Bite Injury Case?," accessed on Jan. 28, 2017

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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