Dogs are the most popular pet in most Delaware communities. They are smart, companionable and fun for children and adults alike. However, they are also a major source of risk for the general public.
Dogs can become aggressive, especially when provoked. Occasionally, dogs can attack with very little warning or provocation, sometimes causing catastrophic or even fatal injuries to the people involved in an attack incident. Children are at particularly high risk in dog bite attacks, as the lack of familiarity with a dog’s body language and shorter stature make them especially vulnerable.
Even when a dog doesn’t cause severe injuries as a result of an attack, they may leave disfiguring scars which will be expensive to treat. As a result, it is important to understand who is responsible for the costs caused by an aggressive dog’s attack.
Delaware has strict liability rules for dog owners
The average person should recognize there is risk inherent in having a canine in their home. Dog owners generally need to train their animals and keep them on leashes or behind fences so that they cannot harm people, property or other animals.
Owners who fail to keep their animals away from the public are potentially liable for any damages their animals cause. Whether a dog breaks free and bites someone at a playground or attacks a visitor at the home where it lives, the owner of the animal will be liable in almost all scenarios.
Only in cases where the person bitten by the animal taunted it beforehand or broke the law prior to the attack with the owner be able to avoid responsibility for the incident.
Insurance usually pays
The good news for those who know the owner of the dog that bit them is that the person won’t usually have to pay directly for those expenses. Instead, their homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance will often cover property damage losses, medical expenses and even lost wages while someone undergoes treatment.
In some cases, a lawsuit may be necessary to collect compensation when a dog attacks a person. However, provided there is evidence that the animal was aggressive and that the people involved suffered injuries, victims may have a strong claim in civil court. Knowing who to hold responsible after a dog bite attack can benefit those who have been harmed by an aggressive animal.