Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

MLH&A

MLH &A

Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

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Personal Attention
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Dog bite laws in Kentucky

Whether a dog is a working animal or a family pet, every dog owner in the state should have some information about Kentucky’s dog bite laws. This is because state law holds owners strictly liable for their dogs’ actions. It’s important to understand what the risks are so that you can effectively manage them.

Liability and comparative negligence

Dog owners in Kentucky are held responsible for the damage caused by dog bites. In some cases, people can be fined or serve a short jail sentence if they keep a dog that is dangerous to the public. Typically, dog owners have liability coverage for dog bites on their homeowners’ insurance policies.

Kentucky state law says, “Any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock or other property shall be responsible for that damage.” That sounds very clear and very strict. However, there are some circumstances where the person who has been bitten may be held partly liable for the incident.

For example, if someone taunts a dog or approaches a dog who is already being aggressive, that person may be held partly responsible for the bite. Any damages in a court case may be reduced due to the actions they took that triggered the bite.

Document a dog bite incident

If you find yourself involved in a dog bite case, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities. It’s also a good idea to document everything. Take pictures of any injuries and try to get the names of any witnesses. If there’s a police report, it’s prudent to acquire a copy of it. This may be helpful when dealing with an insurance company or a court case.