Dog bite statute refers to any city ordinance, state statute, or county ordinance that offers a remedy for dog bites or any attacks caused by any domestic animal including the dog. Dog bite laws impose the liability of dog attacks on the owners, as the people who keep the custody of the dog are legally responsible to check any kind of aggressive behavior from it. Dog bites statutes have been implemented in the US since the 1700s, with states having varying takes on the statute.
One Bite State
A “one bite state” or “one free bite state” sticks on to the ancient one bite rule according to which the dog owner is guarded against the liability to the injury caused by the dog for the very first time except in some exceptional cases.
The law is easy on the owner only for the first time and any further attacks will lead to the dog owner being held liable for the attack. Take for example the case, the dog bit someone already and it attacks someone the second time. Here the strict liability is on the owner as the law recognizes that they have kept a dog they knew would hurt people.
Statutory Strict Liability States
If you live in a statutory strict liability state, the open free bite doesn’t apply there, which means that it doesn’t matter whether the attack is for the first time or not, the owner will be held liable for the injury caused by the dog. The negligence of the owner or handler doesn’t need to be proved for deciding the dog bite settlement.
Mixed Dog Bite Statute State
A mixed dog bite statute state is a bit of “one bite state” and statutory strict liability state. It has some degree of strict liability, all the while embodying the one-bite rule. The states impose statutory liability of dog attacks on the owners under special circumstances, which is why they are included in the list of statutory liability states.
Whether you live in a one-bite state or mixed bite state, know that the owners can be held liable due to the following reasons:
- Intentional action involving a dog
- Reckless behavior involving the use of a dog
- Violation of municipal law leading to injury
- Premises liability
The difference between one bite and mixed bite statute states is that the former doesn’t have dog bite statutes whereas the statutes in the latter are complicated. When a dog bite case arises, you would require an expert dog attack lawyer that can offer you the best legal assistance.