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How dog owners may claim they’re not liable for a bite

A dog bites you, you go to the hospital and then you get a bill in the mail. You also miss time at work and lose out on wages. You’re not too worried, since you assume the owners will cover the costs. It’s their fault, after all.

Don’t make that assumption too quickly. It’s important to consider the ways they may fight your allegations and try to get out of paying.

For instance, they could claim that their “Beware of Dog” sign protects them. They’ll say you assumed any and all risk since you read the sign and didn’t stay far enough away from the dog.

They may also argue that you were on their property when you should not have been. This is especially problematic if you had to cross a barrier — like a fence or a gate — to get on the property.

Furthermore, the owners may say that you provoked the dog. They could claim you were acting in a threatening manner, yelling at the dog or gesturing to it. They’ll claim it would not have attacked if you hadn’t done that, saying the attack was then your fault.

Naturally, the exact way that the attack happened may eliminate some of these defenses. Maybe there wasn’t a fence, perhaps you never saw a “Beware of Dog” sign or maybe you were just jogging by and not trying to provoke the dog intentionally.

Still, it’s important to know about the potential excuses that property owners may use. If you want to find out more about how you can protect your own rights and seek compensation, our website has a lot of valuable information.

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