State Shared Fault Laws in Dog Bite Cases

If you've been bitten or otherwise injured by someone else's dog, and you're thinking about bringing a dog bite claim or lawsuit, be prepared for the dog's owner -- or their homeowners' insurance company or attorney -- to argue that you bear some amount of responsibility for what happened. Maybe they'll claim that you were trespassing at the time of the attack, or that you did something to provoke the dog. Whatever the other side's argument, you need to be prepared to counter it.

You also need to understand how your dog bite claim could be affected if you're found to share some amount of blame for what happened. The answer will depend on where you live (or more accurately, the state in which any lawsuit is filed). In some states, if a dog bite victim is found partially at fault for their injuries, the amount of compensation they can recover from the dog owner will be reduced by a percentage equal to their share of fault. In these states, if the dog bite victim is found to bear the majority of the blame, any financial recovery from the dog's owner will be barred. And in a handful of states, if the dog bite victim bears any level of blame (even the slightest percentage), they're also barred from recovering any compensation at all from the dog's owner (via a court judgment, anyway).

To get the details on shared fault rules for dog bite injury cases in your state, choose a link from the list.

 

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