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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Timothy Tonkin with Phillips Law Group.
Every state has slightly different laws regarding who is liable when a dog bite injury occurs. Kentucky is considered a “strict liability” state in regard to animal attacks, and it is unique in that the “one bite rule” applied in other strict liability states does not apply in Kentucky. The one bite rule applied in other states may exempt a dog owner from liability in the event the bite was the first time a dog exhibited aggressive behavior, but in Kentucky, this argument is considered legally invalid. If you or a loved one were injured by a domestic animal attack or dog bite, reach out to a personal injury attorney in the area to discuss your options for recovery.
Section 258.235 of Kentucky Revised Statutes details the laws and liability requirements regarding animal attacks and dog bites. Kentucky is considered a strict liability state in regard to animal attacks, which means the animal’s owner is considered responsible for any damages caused to a person, other animal, or piece of property as a result of their pet’s behavior. This statute also allows anyone to seize or kill an animal that is in the middle of an attack and requires that any dog that has exhibited violent behaviors be declared dangerous and kept away from people.
It is difficult to have an animal attack lawsuit dismissed in the state of Kentucky; however, in certain circumstances, it may be possible to limit the damages the injured party is allowed to claim. For example, if the injured party provoked the dog prior to the injury, they may share partial liability, reducing the amount of damages they can be awarded. Similarly, if the injured party was attacked while trespassing on your property, the damages they are eligible to claim may be limited.
While a dog bite might not sound like a serious enough injury to justify the above and additional damages, it’s important to remember that animal attacks can be serious and may have long-lasting effects. Bacterial infections, rabies, and tetanus are just a few of the dangerous conditions which can be passed from dogs to humans. Additionally, physical damage and injuries can be severe, especially when the person attacked is a child or at-risk individual.
Being honest about a dog’s behavior and temperament is the first step in protecting yourself and others from the distressing events during and after an animal attack. Taking precautions if your dog might be aggressive and seeking professional training are great ways for a dog owner to protect themself from liability and others from injury. This might include posting warning signs around your property, installing and maintaining a gate or fence, or making sure the dog is leashed and unable to access another party it could injure at any given time. Socializing the dog from a young age under the guidance of a professional dog trainer is another good way to stop the aggressive behavior before it can ever get rolling; it’s much easier to prevent a dog from becoming aggressive than trying to make it unlearn those behaviors later on.
If you or a loved one were injured in an animal attack, reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your state to discuss your options for recovery.
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