When a dog bites someone, there’s a good chance the victim will be able to file a compensation claim against its owner. Dog bite injury claims are particularly viable if the owner failed to leash their dog or restrain it on private property. That means dog owners who let their pets roam free on trails, greenways, sidewalks, and even in their neighborhoods can be held liable if their bite or attack someone.
However, dog owners often have one major defense against liability when their pets bite: provocation. When it comes to dog bite claims, provocation refers to people acting in a manner around dogs that might entice them to bite. However, many actions that are often considered provocation are not. For example, petting a dog, playing with a dog, or even walking towards a dog should never be considered provocation.
Actual provocation includes actions that are clearly meant to frighten, harm, or startle a dog, including:
- Hitting a dog
- Trapping a dog
- Intentionally stepping on a dog’s tail or feet
- Pulling on a dog’s tail, ears, or other body parts
Dog owners must assume that others may want to approach and greet their pets. After all, most dogs love meeting new people. So when dog owners and their lawyers claim provocation due to a victim simply being near their dog or acting in a friendly manner towards it, they’re often fighting a losing battle.
If you were bitten by a dog, our Virginia dog bite lawyers can protect your rights, especially if you’re being accused or provocation as a way to avoid paying you a settlement. Contact Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.