Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

Dog Bite / Animal Attacks

Dog Bite and Animal Attacks are extremely common personal injury lawsuits, with laws that differ from state to state. The first thing in determining liability and responsibility for the animal attack is to determine who the owner of the animal is. While some states impose a "strict liability" on the owner, others will hold the owner liable only if the owner knew of the animal's "dangerous propensities". The strict liability test is a very low standard that imposes liability on the owner regardless of whether the owner was in the wrong. The dangerous propensities test is somewhat more difficult to meet, since there are several factors to consider, including the breed of the animal and the animal's past history.

Recently in Dog Bite / Animal Attacks Category

Fish Pedicures Leaving Your Toenails Fishy -- What Can You Do?

Fish pedicures, wildly popular in Europe and Asia, are gaining in popularity here in the United States. Over the past decade, fish spas are popping up across the country, and consumers are definitely intrigued. But waders beware! Before jumping in, there's a few things you should know.

Man Sues for Rat Bite at Disney's Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is not so magical when you get bitten by a rat while visiting. Unless it turns you into a princess or cooks you a seven-course dinner -- then it's still magical. Unfortunately for one park-goer, his rat bite ended in medical bills and disfigurement instead of riches and a crown. Now he's suing Disney for damages as a result.

Sadly, animal attacks and bites occur all too frequently. Sometimes it's a sneaky raccoon slipping in the pet door, sometimes we're bitten by snakes trying to protect our pets, and other times we're bitten by snakes that are our pets. And then there are the times when our pets bite a stranger or even a family member.

Liability in all these instances can vary, depending on the ownership or care of the animal and where the attack happens. Here are three recent legal developments when it comes to animal liability:

National Dog Bite Prevention Week runs from April 9 to 15 this year. The focus of the awareness program is to educate dog owners and the public about dog bite prevention.

To draw attention to the week, the Insurance Information Institute, in collaboration with State Farm, released a shocking report detailing the increase in dog bite claims over the past decade. Last year alone, there were over 18,000 claims filed against homeowners due to dog bites, which is nearly 3,500 more claims than in 2006.

When it comes to evaluating the value of any injury case, most people understand that bigger injuries correlate to bigger settlements. When it comes to dog bites and animal attacks, the owners will usually be held liable, barring extraordinary circumstances.

Not all animal bite cases will be severe injuries, or equate to large monetary damages. Typically, larger monetary awards occur if an animal attack leaves visible scarring, requires surgery extended medical care, or results in the need for mental health therapy, such as PTSD counseling.

Millions of equestrian enthusiasts ride horses every day without incident. But, as with any athletic pursuit involving large animals, it can be dangerous. Just ask Jenna Tatoulian, who was thrown from a horse while training in 2014, suffering multiple fractures in her pelvis and tailbone. Tatoulian is now suing the riding club, claiming that it was the club's water truck backfiring that spooked her horse.

Here's a closer look at Tatoulian's lawsuit, and others based on horse riding injuries.

Shark Bite Injury Case Brought Against Drunk Dive Instructor

Sharks are terrifying, which is why so many movies are made about them terrorizing us. But some people won’t be satisfied with the thrill of film and must see these creatures up close, and sometimes those who swim with sharks get hurt.

A federal judge last week denied a motion to dismiss from defendants associated with a maritime tour that takes people to swim with sharks. The plaintiff says she was bitten by a shark when her allegedly drunk dive instructor negligently fed the creature bait that led it to her, and the court is allowing her claim to go forward under federal maritime law.

We love our pets. And we do our best to treat and train them well. But not every pet is perfect — or perfectly trained — and pet injuries happen. From the standard dog bite to our pets being injured themselves or causing us to slip and fall, injuries to pets and from pets are all too common and a common source of litigation.

Here’s what you need to know about dog attacks and other pet-related injuries:

Pet Regulation: Are There Dangerous Cat Laws?

Dangerous dog laws have become common, which raises an obvious question. What about cats?

Felines are basically little vampires who scratch stuff, apart from sucking blood. Why seemingly so little concern for them in the law? Do cat people have connects that make their pets exempt from regulation? We turned to the experts at the Animal Legal and Historical Center of Michigan State University to find out more.

In most cases, a dog can make a house a home. One of the few downsides to owning a dog is the potential for liability if your dog bites a person. 

If you live in a house with dogs, you might be liable for dog bites — even if you don’t personally own the dogs. That’s according to a recent decision in New York where the court ruled that that a dog owner’s housemates could be liable for a victim’s injuries from an attack.