How Do You Prove an Owner Knew their Dog Was a Liability?

Categories: Dog Bites

aggressive dog liability

Pennsylvania’s Trusted Dog Bite Liability Lawyer

Many states do not use strict liability for dog attacks. In these states, you must show that the dog’s owner knew that their animal was prone to attacks or dangerous to recover damages from that owner. Proving that a dog is dangerous is more complex than it seems, and you must show that the dog exhibited vicious tendencies before you were injured by the dog in question.

While you could work to prove this on your own, it is highly advised that you speak with an attorney. An attorney with experience handling dog attack cases can help determine if the dog was dangerous, prove the owner knew those dangers, and help recover damages in your attack case.

Factors that Prove a Philadelphia Dog Owner Knows their Pet is a Risk

While not a complete list, this list represents some of the elements that may prove a dog’s owner was aware their animal was a liability.

Purpose of the Animal

When an owner keeps their dog for protection and trains them to be aggressive to protect, it may automatically attack a stranger without provocation. An owner should know that if they train their dog to be aggressive about their family and territory, they will attack anyone unauthorized.

Continuous Biting and Snapping

Any time a dog has aggressive behaviors, such as biting or snapping at people, an owner is considered to be reasonably aware their dog may attack.

Complaints about the Dog Presented to the Owner

If neighbors, family members, or friends have complained to the dog’s owner about the dog’s behavior or concern that the dog is vicious – this is notice of the dog’s temperament. The owner now has a duty to take precautions whenever the dog is around people. If they don’t, this could be used as evidence that the owner knew the dog was a risk and did nothing to prevent future attacks.

Fighting or Attacking Other Animals

The dog does not necessarily have to bite or attack another human to be considered aggressive. Instead, a history of fighting other animals, or attacking animals without provocation, can indicate a vicious nature.

Dog Is Frequently Confined

When an owner locks their dog in a cage or chains them up, this indicates that they are aware of the dog’s risk for an attack – or that they know their dog would harm another if let loose.

Muzzling the Dog Frequently

Another sign the owner knew his or her dog was a risk is if they restrain the dog. Now, this does not include instances where a dog is muzzled to visit a vet. Many dogs have anxiety at a vet’s office and are muzzled out of precaution, but not because they were a threat.

Instead, if the owner muzzles the dog daily, especially when out on walks with the pet, then it may indicate they know their dog is a risk.

Warning Signs

A warning sign by itself is not an admission that a dog’s owner knew their pet was a risk. However, if you combine a warning sign on the property with one of the other factors mentioned above, it could prove the owner knew their dog was a risk to public safety.

Owner’s Direct Warnings

If an owner warns someone directly about the risks, such as giving verbal warnings to others to show that they are worried their dog might cause harm, then this could be used to prove negligence.

Injured in a Dog Attack? You Need a Skilled Attorney

If a vicious dog attacked you or a loved one, and you suspect that the owner knew their dog was vicious, contact an attorney immediately.

An attorney can help gather evidence and prove that the dog’s owner knew their pet was a risk. Furthermore, if the dog’s owner was aware their dog was a threat and did nothing to stop an attack, you might receive more compensation for your accident.

To explore your options, schedule a consultation with Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. today. He can meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation. Schedule yours now by calling his cell at 215-771-0430 or toll-free at the office 800-465-8795. You can also fill out this online contact form with your questions.