What is the One Bite Rule? And in Which States Does It Apply?by Elena T. Manager
Even the smallest, and seemingly, friendliest of dogs can unleash a vicious attack to the surprise of all those around. On the other hand, there are dogs of certain breeds and with certain temperaments that make it highly likely that they will eventually bite someone. In a limited number of states, there is something referred to as the ‘One Bite Rule.’ This area of law is extremely familiar to all experienced dog bite attorneys, no matter what state they practice law in.
In essence, the ‘One Bite Rule’ requires dog bite victims to prove that the owners had knowledge of their dog’s dangerous temperament and that they should have taken steps to prevent the attack. Normally, if you get bitten by a dog, all you have to do is prove that you did not provoke the animal in some way. In the states where the ‘One Bite Rule’ exists, attorneys and victims alike can have a hard time proving their cases.
States Where the One Bite Rule Applies
Virginia, Nevada, Vermont, Texas, New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, Maryland, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Kansas all follow the ‘One Bite Rule.’ There are also a number of states that utilize elements of the ‘One Bite Rule’ within their laws, making dog bite claims a little more challenging to prove. ‘One Bite Rule’ states seem to have more protection for dog owners, but if an attack can be proven to be the fault of the owner, then he or she will be liable for damages.
How Is the One Bite Rule Different from Other Dog Bite Laws?
In the remaining states, dog bite laws are clear; if you are bitten, then the owner can be sued. You don’t need to prove that the owner was negligent or even that the dog was dangerous. The only caveat in all dog bite cases is that the victim cannot be an aggressor. In other words, if you in some way antagonized the animal prior to being bitten, then you’re on your own.
Can You Still Seek Compensation If You’re Injured in a One Bite Rule State?
States that embrace the ‘One Bite Rule’ still experience lots of dog bite injury claims. There are certain types of dogs that are known to be dangerous to the public: guard dogs, wild dogs, and pit bulls, for example. Dogs that get loose and are running around without a leash or their owners present, and end up biting someone, are certainly good cases for victims in ‘One Bite Rule’ states. All cases in states that follow the ‘One Bite Rule’ can be harder to figure out, but victims always have the option of talking to attorneys and filing their claims.
If you get bitten by a dog in any state, then you should first see if the owners have taken adequate actions to prevent the same event from happening again. Some may be willing to pay your expenses out of pocket, which could help you to avoid going through litigation. If you live in a ‘One Bite Rule’ state, be sure to talk to a dog bite attorney before moving forward.
Created on Dec 31st 1969 19:00. Viewed 0 times.