What Happens If a Dog Bites Someone On Your Property?


The number of dog bite incidents that happen each year may be a lot more than you have possibly imagined. According to national surveys, almost 5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States each year. In a large number of these incidences, it is a stranger or someone coming onto a property that is bitten.

This creates an interesting situation because it not only means that somebody has been attacked by a dog, putting the dog in peril, but it also puts the dog owner at risk. A number of legal issues related to dog bites arise each year and if you are wanting to know what happens if a dog bites someone on your property, then make sure you read on.

File a Report

No matter what the incident is, you want to make sure you write out a detailed explanation of exactly what happened that led to the dog biting the person. It should include all relevant names involved in the incident, including witnesses, exactly when it happened, how it happened, and why it happened. The closer to the time of the event that you fill out this description, the better it is. Get things down on paper while they are fresh in your mind.

The reason behind this is simple. If this is your child or even you that was bitten and you are required to have some kind of medical treatment for this dog bite, you can be sure that your insurance company is going to be asking for more details. If you already have the details written down, this will make it easy for you to supply them with that information.

If they have bitten someone else, like a neighbor, friend, or even the postman, you may have the police involved. If the person goes to the doctor, their medical insurance company is going to be involved and so is your homeowner’s insurance company. Each of these organizations is going to want a description of exactly what happened, and you want to make sure that you have the details.

Even if this person has broken into your house or gone on to your property in an attempt to harm you, you need proper documentation. If you are forced to go to court to testify against this person, you want to be able to say, “This is exactly what happened.”

Will The Dog Be Punished?

Depending upon how the incident came about, your dog could potentially be at risk. If this is the postman, for instance, you are going to have government officials involved who may want to check the dog or do a detailed report of exactly what led to the incident. This could lead to your dog being taken away for some time, or even permanently.

However, just because your dog has bitten someone does not mean they have the right to take your animal. This is why it is extremely important that as much information as possible is collected, you will want it if you need to defend yourself or your pet.

Your Dog May Be Quarantined

One thing that may happen is that the court may require that your dog be quarantined. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be taken off of your property, a quarantine can mean that they hold you responsible for keeping the dog indoors or in your yard fenced in and unable to reach anyone else.

This action is taken in the vast majority of dog biting incidences. Truthfully, there is not enough room in animal shelters across the country to house every dog accused of biting someone. This is why they allow the owner to keep their dog as long as they understand that the animal needs to be kept indoors, in a cage, or in an area that does not allow it to get off of your property.

The duration of the quarantine is usually dependent on how long it takes for them to conduct an investigation. This can last anywhere from a couple of weeks up to six months during which you are required to ensure that the dog remains in quarantine.

You Will Be Held Liable For Your Pet

You need to be aware that when your dog bites someone, it puts you at risk. You are responsible for the actions of your pets, which make you responsible for any medical bills, treatment, or suffering the victim has endured. You could easily be sued for the action of your dog.

You may also be held criminally liable. If your dog causes serious injury to someone, the courts can see you as negligent, arrest you, and even attempt to place you in jail.

No matter how severe or tame the injury may be to a person who was bitten by your dog, it is imperative that you contact an attorney right away. Write down exactly what has happened before calling and then call a lawyer to help you protect your rights.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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