After a dog bite, you might want further counsel from a personal injury lawyer in Renton on a course of action. In general, the dog’s owner is liable after a bite or other injury. However, in some situations, another person might be held responsible if any of the following are true:
- The dog owner is a minor.
- The property landlord knew about the risk the dog posed.
- The dog was at another person’s property, but the property owner did not act.
Harborers and Keepers
A person who keeps or harbors a dog is responsible for the dog’s actions if the dog injures someone. The dog is in the person’s care, custody and control and acts in the place of a dog owner. However, the courts may or may not consider someone a keeper who fits into this definition for a very short period of time. For example, a judge might rule differently in each situation related to the responsibility of the following parties: an animal shelter, a groomer, a visitor, a landlord or a dog sitter.
However, not all states, including Washington, agree that a harborer or keeper is responsible for a dog’s actions. Even so, relevant statutes provide some conflicting information, including considering the person who controls the dog as the owner. In addition, local ordinances sometimes offer further clarification on the definition of harborers and keepers.
Multiple Dog Owners
If a dog has more than one owner, then all of the people could be held accountable for a dog bite or injury. For example, if you go on vacation, and your sister takes in your dog for a month, both of you could be liable if the dog hurts someone. If the owner is a minor, then the child’s parents are legally responsible because they are the property owners or residents and provide financial upkeep for the dog.
Are Parents Responsible when a Dog Bites Their Child?
Generally, a child can’t take legal action against a parent for negligence. However, in an Arizona case, the parents were held liable when their dog injured their young daughter. The laws and their interpretations are complex. The courts might not consider the dog owner’s responsibility instead of actual negligence.
Employers and Property Owners
If you are bit by a dog while you are at work, you might need to file workers’ compensation as opposed to a personal injury lawsuit. However, the building owners could be found liable for a dog bite if a dog injures someone while it is restrained outside a restaurant or a retail establishment.
Our Injuries Law Firm Can Help After a Dog Bite
At Edward K. Le PLLC, Attorneys at Law, we have represented other clients who have been attacked or bitten by dogs. Contact our personal injury lawyer in Renton to discuss your options.