October 10, 2018

Are dog owners liable for attacks?

This situation is becoming more common: One moment you are walking or running down the road, minding your own business, and the next, a dog comes running to you and bites you, another person or your own pet.

It seems many dog owners do not see the danger that their dog(s) could pose to others until the dog(s) acts contrary to its nature, causing minor, serious or even fatal injuries.

The owner is fully liable for the actions of the dog, and the victim only needs to prove the following:

  • That the animal was owned by the person from whom the victim is seeking compensation;
  • That the behavior of the animal which resulted in the injuries and the claim for compensation was contrary to the nature of domesticated animals;
  • That the conduct of the animal caused the damages;
  • You were legally authorised to be in that place; and
  • The animal was not provoked.

Dog owners may also take out insurance for these unforeseen incidences which will assist them for any financial claim that might be laid upon them.

Ruth Crisp
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