Bill was riding his bike on the public trail and Jane’s dog came out of nowhere and jumped on him and bit him on the hand before Jane could get the dog away. The dog was not on a leash and Bill’s medical bills are $5,000.
AI.LAW spotted the following potential claims
1. Negligence: Jane may be liable for negligence if she failed to exercise reasonable care in controlling her dog. This may include failing to keep the dog on a leash or failing to properly train or restrain the dog.
2. Strict liability: Depending on the state where the incident occurred, there may be strict liability laws that hold dog owners responsible for any injuries caused by their pets, regardless of whether the owner was negligent or knew about the dog’s dangerous tendencies.
3. Dog bite statutes: Many states have specific laws that address dog bites and impose strict liability on the owner. These laws may require the owner to compensate the victim for any damages, including medical bills and lost wages.
4. State animal control laws: Some states have animal control laws that require dogs to be kept on leashes in public places. If Jane violated these laws, she may be held responsible for any injuries that resulted.
5. Federal laws: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may apply if Bill has a disability and the dog was a service animal that was not properly trained or controlled. Additionally, if the incident occurred on federal land, such as a national park, there may be federal regulations that apply.
Possible Follow Up Questions Include
1. Can you provide more details about the incident? When and where did it occur? Were there any witnesses?
2. Was Jane’s dog on a leash at the time of the incident?
3. Do you know if Jane has a history of owning aggressive dogs or if her dog had any previous incidents of biting or attacking people?
4. Have you sought medical treatment for your injuries? If so, can you provide copies of your medical records and bills?
5. Did you report the incident to the authorities, such as the police or animal control?
6. Have you spoken to Jane since the incident? If so, did she admit fault or apologize?
7. Were you doing anything that may have provoked the dog, such as making loud noises or sudden movements?
8. Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions that may have contributed to the severity of your injuries?
9. Have you missed work or lost income as a result of your injuries?
10.Are there any additional damages you have suffered as a result of the incident, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress?