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Are dog owners liable if their animals attack?

Many dog-owners in Washington love their pets and may be under the impression that their dog would never harm anyone. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Any dog could potentially bite someone, even without provocation. Therefore, it is up to dog owners to ensure the public is safe from their pet.

Per Washington statutes, if a person suffers a dog bite, that dog's owner may be held strictly liable if the following elements are met. First, the bite must occur either in public or the victim must lawfully be on private property. Strict liability may be imposed even if the dog had never attacked before, and it may be imposed even if its owner did not know the dog was vicious. However, if the victim provoked the dog, the owner cannot be held liable for the dog's actions.

Dog bites can be serious injuries. Such injuries can result in hefty medical expenses, damages from lost income if the victim cannot work, and pain and suffering. Dog bites have the potential to affect a victim's entire future, which is why it is so important to hold dog owners liable for their animal's actions.

In the end, it is important to remember that even the tamest dog is still an animal, with the propensity to attack. It is up to dog owners to ensure the public is safe from their pet. This may include keeping the dog in a fenced-in area or making sure the dog is leashed while in public. Dog bite victims may want to pursue compensation from the responsible party through a personal injury claim.

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