Not all dogs are like Toto from the Wizard of Oz or Old Yeller. Some dogs are more vicious than others and not all that appear to be happy-go-lucky are nice towards strangers. Anyone is susceptible to a dog bite, and you should be aware of your surroundings. If you have been bitten, you may be eligible for compensation for your personal injury, and the experienced personal injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help.
Sparky may not be so nice
Dog bites are not a thing of the past. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4.7 million dog bites occur each year. In terms of how Maryland handles dog bite cases, there are rules that a dog owner must follow and if those rules are broken, there can be consequences such as personal liability and financial ramifications.
Maryland dog bite injury law
An obvious rule is to take care of your dog in such a way that it does not pose a threat to others. But to what extent are you responsible if your dog gets out of the fence and bites a child riding a bike? Or what if your dog is in your backyard and someone hops your fence to pet it? Are you liable? Ultimately, it depends. Maryland law involves both strict liability and negligence. Maryland Code 10-619 defines the meaning of ‘dangerous dog’ and outlines the rules governing how to handle such an animal.
You are strictly liable for your dog’s actions if you already knew that it had a propensity to bite. To determine propensity, generally, it is if your dog has bitten someone before. On the other end of the spectrum, there is negligence. So, if your dog has never bitten anyone, you can still be liable if you didn’t take action to ensure that others were safe.
Negligence and damages from a dog bite
The principle for recovery from dog bite injuries is the same as negligence rules for any other tort law. The injured party must prove that as an owner, you did not supervise your dog and as a result, it led the dog to attack. In other words, you had a duty to watch your dog, you breached that duty, and consequently, your dog caused the injury and the plaintiff sustained damages.
Such damages can include brain injury, eye damage, spinal cord injuries, and others. A plaintiff might even be eligible for compensatory damages such as pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and future wages.
Whatever the injury, if you are seeking to be compensated for a dog bite injury, the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help. Fluffy may seem sweet on the outside, but your injury could prove otherwise. Seek medical attention immediately, and contact us to handle the rest. Call (301) 932-9997 for a free case evaluation today.