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Animal bites can be serious, deadly

Everyone knows that dogs are man's best friend. Thousands of animals are welcomed into homes of Americans, including those from the St. Peters, Missouri, area, as family members and friends. But not all dogs are the same. Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly.

Some dogs are bred to act as guard dogs; other dogs are illegally bred to attack. Certain breeds are notoriously more violent than others. And there are occasions when even a friendly dog feels threatened or tries to "protect" a loved one and may lash out or attack someone. The courts have what are called "dog bite laws" in place, assigning strict liability to owners for injuries caused by their dogs. This liability overrides whether the owner was at fault or not. This typically extends to wild animals which are kept as pets as well. The belief here is that wild animals that are known to be vicious or uncontrollable are inherently dangerous.

Obviously dogs and pets are animals, acting on instinct and not capable of thinking about ramifications of their actions. The courts understand this as well, and may deny an animal bite victim from compensation if it is proven that the victim was trespassing or provoking the animal into attacking. The same may be true of other domestic animals such as horses. A victim who "assumed a risk" or was "contributorily negligent" or guilty of provoking the animal may not be entitled to compensation.

As you can see, the laws regarding animal bites and attacks are not always simple. If you have been the victim of such an injury, you may want to speak with a lawyer to see whether your injuries qualify for compensation.

Source: findlaw.com, "Does the Type of Animal affect a Bite Injury Case?" Accessed, May 8, 2017

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