Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims in the USA

In most states, if a dog bites someone, the owner is responsible, even if the dog has never bitten before. This means that if you’re walking down the street and a dog unexpectedly attacks you, the owner could be held accountable for your injuries. It doesn’t matter if the dog has always been friendly in the past.

But there’s a catch in some states. They have something called the “one bite rule.” This means that the owner might not be responsible for the first time their dog bites someone, as long as they didn’t know the dog was dangerous. However, if they were careless, like not keeping their dog on a leash when they should have, or if they broke a law related to controlling their pet, then they can still be held accountable.

If the dog owner is responsible for the bite, the victim will receive compensation from the homeowners insurance (or renters insurance) where the dog owner lives. There will be payment for medical bills, lost wages, pain, emotional suffering, and any other damages resulting from the bite.

To learn more about what a person can do if a dog bites, read “For Dog Bite Victims.” We also have articles on specific topics:

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