Whenever a dog bites someone, it is common to place the entire blame in the hands of the dog's owner. While it is true that dog owners have a major responsibility of preventing their animals from biting people, they sometimes share the responsibility with others. If you have been injured by a dog, look for the owner, yes, but also look for other who may also be liable for your damages. Here are four examples of situations in which another party other than the dog owner may be responsible for a dog bite:
The Dog's Owner Is a Minor
Most states have laws that hold parents liable for the negligence of their children. This means if a child owns a dog, and they negligently allow the dog to bite you, you may be able to pursue damages against the kids. This is the way it is because, for one, minors cannot always distinguish between right and wrong, and their parents are expected to keep them in check by controlling their actions. Apart from that, most minors don't have the wherewithal to pay for the damages other may bring against them.
Someone Else Was Taking Care of the Dog
Anyone who agrees to take care of a dog also accepts the responsibility that comes with dog care. This means that they can be held liable for the damages that may ensue if the dog bites other people under their care. For example, if a dog bites you while under the care of a dog sitter or walker, the walker or sitter will be held liable for your damages. Therefore, if you have been attacked by a dog, don't forget to identify and take the contacts of the person who was with the dog even if they aren't the animal's owner.
The Dog Was On Another Person's Property
Lastly, a property owner may also be responsible for the damages associated with a dog bite on their property. This is usually the case if the property owner allowed the dog onto the property (or didn't take measures to keep out such animals) knowing that the animal was dangerous and could bite. This may be the case, say, if you are bitten by a dog inside a shopping mall (making the managers liable for the damages) or on rental premises (making the landlord liable for the damages).
If you have been attacked by a dog, take your time to identify all the potentially liable parties. A dog bite law firm like Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC can help you with the identification.