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Some common questions about animal bites, answered

The subjects of animal attacks and dog bites are touchy indeed. The victims of such attacks obviously want justice, while the owners of dogs or other pets swear that they are not responsible or liable for the victims injuries. Of course, it all depends on the circumstances involved in each particular case. Still, people want to know what happens when an animal attacks:

What if I was attacked by my neighbor's dog on my property? You probably have a legitimate claim, but it all depends on your state's laws. If strict liability laws are in place in your state, then you only have to prove that you were injured by the dog. If such laws don't exist in your state, then you have to prove that your neighbor should have known that his or her dog had vicious propensities.

What if I was asked onto the property and the dog attacked me? Again, it all depends on the circumstances, but in most cases, the property owner has a responsibility to keep guests safe. That means they are responsible for their pet and protecting you from that pet, especially if the pet has a previous history of attacking animals or people.

What about police dogs? What liability could there be if I am bitten by a police dog? Yet again, we must stress the circumstances. But, if you were bitten by a police dog, the use of force must have been reasonable -- otherwise, they could be liable for the injuries or harm suffered by the person bit by the police dog.

Source: FindLaw, "Dog/Animal Bites - FAQ," Accessed Aug. 11, 2016

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