Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

MLH&A

MLH &A

Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

Get The
Personal Attention
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Determining fault for dog bites

Dogs enjoy a status similar to other members of many Kentucky families. But dog owners must keep in mind that even the most docile dogs pose a threat to both the people and other animals they encounter. When a dog attacks a person, the owner becomes liable for damage even if the dog displayed no prior signs of aggression before the attack.

Dog bite laws

The state is strict regarding the liability dog owners possess when a dog injures a person. No negligence is necessary on the part of the dog owner for this liability to apply. This liability also covers the livestock or other property that becomes damaged by a dog bite.

Comparative negligence

The state takes the actions of a dog bite victim into account when assessing negligence for an attack. A dog bite victim that approaches a dog already threatening aggressive action may bear some responsibility for a subsequent attack. This fact will not absolve the dog owner of responsibility for the attack. But comparative negligence laws may reduce award damages for the dog bite victim.

Fines and penalties

A court can sentence a dog owner to as much as 60 days in jail for a dog attack happening away from home. A maximum $200 fine also applies in these cases. A “vicious” dog declaration will require the owner to find secure accommodations for the dog.

Time limitation

Dog bite victims have one year from the date the injury becomes apparent to file a lawsuit against the owner. In most cases, dog bite injuries become known immediately by the victim. But an injury noticed at a later date will cause the one-year period to start on the day of injury determination and not the date of the incident.

Most dogs are loving animals that make great additions to a family. But occasionally, a dog strikes out violently against a person or other animal. Individuals injured in a dog attack may benefit from speaking to an attorney.