Can A Dog’s Owner Be Held Liable For Bite To Someone That Provoked It?

Usually, an owner could not be held liable if their pet canine were to bite the person that had provoked that same canine. Still, there are limitations to that particular rule in some states.

What acts would be viewed as ones that could provoke a dog?

Teasing that pet.Poking at some part of the dog’s body, especially any part in the region of the face. Being mean to the owner’s canine: That would include tempting that same animal with some treat, and then removing it, in a mischievous manner.

Acting carelessly: Someone that has become familiar with dogs would know to avoid a movement that has allowed stretched fingers to get close to a dog’s face. In some states, even an honest mistake, such as unknowingly stepping on a paw could qualify as an act of provocation.

In order to win a dog bite claim, the plaintiff must prove that he or she had not carried out any form of provocation, prior to the time of the biting incident.

The plaintiff’s explanation must address all of the circumstances surrounding the time and place of the same biting incident. Had the owner given the victim/plaintiff any warning, regarding the need to be careful, when approaching that same owner’s pet? If a warning had been given, what had been the plaintiff’s response to that same warning?

Did the pet’s history suggest that the biting attack could or should have been foreseen by the owner? A “yes” answer to that question would suggest that it had been the owner’s duty to exercise added precautions, in order to prevent an attack on a stranger.

Plaintiffs’ readiness to address the circumstances surrounding a given biting incident does not guarantee the ability of all plaintiffs to view a specific set of circumstances in the same way. Someone that loves dogs might feel obligated to be a bit more careful, when entering the residence of a dog owner.

That appears to have been the case, when one such pet chose to attack a mailman, and bite the same mailman’s hand. The man that walked over that particular postal route had grown up around dogs. Consequently, he must have felt that he should have been more careful, when approaching that particular mailbox.

Some personal injury lawyer in Ottawa might have alleged that the canine with the biting teeth had not been provoked. However, that mailman had a different view of the situation. Consequently, he chose not to sue the canine’s owner.

In fact, he did not abandon his longtime love for man’s best friend. Indeed, members of that mailman’s family saw him playing with their own “best friend” just days after being attacked by one other person’s 4-legged friend.