What Happens if a Dog Bites Someone on Your Property?

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What Happens if a Dog Bites Someone on Your Property?

By Steven Jensen
February 7, 2022

Appointing liability in a dog bite case can be a challenging task. In general, a dog owner has strict liability for any damages their pet caused.

But what happens if a dog bites someone on your property? Can you be held liable in this case? We will discuss what part you will play if a dangerous dog has bitten someone on your property.

Our lawyers can also help you if you sustained dog bite injuries from a vicious dog.

What Should I Do if My Dog Bites Someone?


Suppose your dog bites someone inside or outside your premises. The first thing you will need to do is request medical assistance and help the victim with their injuries. A dog bite can transmit several microorganisms and cause severe infections. As the dog’s owner, you must be prepared to take accountability for your canine’s actions. However, this does not mean that you cannot defend your side. You must compile all necessary evidence and present it before the court.

Unfortunately, the law does not require a dog bite mark to prove a dog attack. Most US states do not follow the “one-bite” rule. This means that even if the attacking dog is not known to be vicious, the dog owner can still be held liable for the attacks.

Liability for Dog Owners in Dog Bite Cases

Most US states follow the strict liability statute, while some follow the one-bite rule. In states following the strict liability statute for dog bites, such as Utah, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries a victim sustained from a dog attack. Regardless of whether the dog owner is not aware of the feral nature of their dog, the injured person can still sue the dog owner for the incident. As mentioned in the previous section, a dog bite mark is not required to prove a dog attack.

On the other hand, in states implementing the one-bite rule for dog bites, the dog owner can only be held liable if they knew or should have known their canine’s dangerous or vicious behavior, which has been shown in the past. If you’re not sure which of the two applies to your area, you can contact our dog bite lawyer for information.

Duty of Care Under Premises Liability Laws


We already discussed the liabilities accompanying if your dog bites another person.

Now, the question begs: What’s your position if the incident occurred within your premises?

This can be a challenging question as some factors may appoint you to share the liability with the dog owner. To further understand the legalities behind these cases, we outlined some situations below:

Guests to Your Home

The dog bite statute states that guests invited by property owners can hold them liable for the dog attack. Suppose your guests are injured due to your lack of due care. In that case, they will need to provide evidence of your lack of due care to appoint the liability of their injuries to you.

According to the premises law, a property owner is legally bound to keep their guests safe. The person who invited the guests should at least inform the guests about the dog’s presence inside the premises. They should also take necessary precautions to prevent injury.

Trespassers on Your Home

In premises liability law, it is a general rule that trespassers cannot hold property owners for any injuries they sustained while trespassing. However, specific state laws allow trespassers to contest a case against the property owner. In Utah, for example, the property owner does not hold any real responsibility for the trespasser.

However, property owners are not allowed to hurt a trespasser intentionally. If someone else’s dog bites a trespasser on your property, only the dog owner can be held liable for the incident.

If Your Dog Has a History of Being Dangerous

In US states implementing the one-bite rule, if your dog has a history of attacking another person, your dog is considered vicious or dangerous. Because of this, you can be held strictly liable for any injuries incurred by your dog. If you own a dog with a biting history, you must set up appropriate warning signs to inform passers or guests about your dog.

Specific insurance policies provide dog attack coverage. It would be best to include these plans in your insurance if you have a dangerous dog.

Injuries Caused by a Dog That Bites on Your Property


An injured person can suffer from further damage from a dog bite. Because of this, it’s indispensable to consult a medical professional to treat the dog bite wound. Here are some of the damages and conditions commonly related to dog bites:

Rabies virus transmission. Rabies is caused by a virus in most animals’ saliva. This viral infection is a devastating disease that frequently affects dog injury victims. Rabies infiltrates the victim’s brain, creating madness or hostility. If a canine bites you, you must get medical attention as quickly as possible.

Puncture wound. A dog’s primary defense method is to bite. Dogs, as natural predators, require a strong biting force to survive. When a puncture wound is not treated immediately, it can result in various severe ailments.

Other bacterial or viral infections. In addition to rabies, various germs can live in a dog’s teeth and tongue. If a dog bites you, you are prone to contract multiple illnesses.

Scarring. Dog bites and scratches can result in severe skin damage. Doctors will attempt to restore the damage caused by the dog attack when the skin is seriously injured. Deep scratches are serious injuries that usually result in lifelong scars.

Trauma. The scientific name for the irrational dread of dogs is cynophobia. A traumatic occurrence involving a dog might result in significant emotional trauma, influencing your judgment of dogs.

Damages That a Dog Bite Victim Can Recover


Dog attacks are considered personal injury cases. Because of this, victims of dog bite cases are entitled to receive similar compensations to an individual injury victim. This compensation coverage includes monetary and non-monetary damages.

Economic damages: This form of compensation covers any objective or apparent injuries. Medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and other financially-impacting damages are covered under this compensation coverage.

Non-economic damages: On the other hand, this compensation coverage is for personal or subjective damages. This includes emotional injury, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

There are other recoverable damages available for dog bite victims. It’s vital to talk to your lawyer about the injuries you sustained from a dog attack.

Legal Defenses for Dog Owners


Despite the strict liability dog bite statutes placed upon dog owners, various legal defenses are available for them. It’s vital to consult with a legal professional to explore your options.

They can provide you with viable ways to protect your rights and establish your position in your case.

We enlisted some scenarios below. This will help you further understand your rights in a dog attack case.

In these scenarios, the dog owner has the chance to avoid liability for the dog attack.

The Victim Provoked Your Dog

Dogs are predatory animals, and their primary method of defense is to bite someone. Dog bite laws state that a dog owner is not liable for damages if the victim provoked the dog. If the defendant could provide evidence that the dog was teased, attacked, or tempted to attack, the court can let them off the hook.

The Person Was Trespassing

Suppose your guard dog bit a person trespassing your property. Can you be held accountable? The answer depends on which state you reside in. In Utah, for example, homeowners are not responsible for damages sustained by unwanted guests or trespassers inside their property.

According to the state’s premises law, property owners can only be held liable if they intentionally commanded their pet to attack the trespasser. The court may hold the defendant responsible for their sustained damages in this case.

Did a Dog Bite Someone on Your Property? Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer for Legal Help!


If you need a proficient dog bite attorney, contact us now! Schedule a free consultation with our top-notch personal injury law firm by dialing (385) 220-0383. You can also send us your consultation request online by accomplishing our contact form on our webpage so we can review your case.

The laws surrounding dog attack cases are complicated and challenging. Seeking the professional assistance of a dog bite lawyer can immensely increase your chance of winning your case. Whether you are a dog owner or a victim of a dog bite, you will benefit from the help of a personal injury lawyer.

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