Earlier this year in July, a Maryland State Trooper was responding to a call in Mechanicsville when she was attacked by the homeowner’s pit-bull. According to a report by a local news source, the officer was responding to a call regarding a unconscious person inside a home. As the officer entered the home, the dog charged at her.
The officer dodged the dog’s first attack, but it retreated and then came back a second time. In its second attack the dog managed to take away the officer’s baton and bite the officer in the foot. In response to her threatened safety, the officer fired a single shot at the animal, wounding it. The pit-bull then retreated.
The dog ran off after being injured, and police tried unsuccessfully to locate it. Neighbors told responding officers that this was not the first time that the dog had attacked someone.
Dog Bite Injuries
Whenever a person keeps a animal, he or she is generally responsible for that animal. This means that he or she may also be liable for any harm that the animal may cause. This is the case whether a person has a dangerous breed of dog, such as a pit-bull, or a breed that is known for having an even temperament.
In Maryland, there are two theories of liability that may result in a dog owner being liable for a pet’s actions. The first is called the “one bite” rule and states that if a dog has bitten someone in the past, the owner should be on notice that the dog has the propensity to bite. Therefore, the owner is responsible for taking the utmost precaution when bringing the dog in public.
The second theory of liability is general negligence. This claim asserts that the dog owner was negligent in the handling of the pet, or that an average pet owner would have used more care in that certain situation. This may come into play in a case where a dog was off the leash in a public place. Under this theory of liability, it does not matter whether the dog has bitten before. The owner may be liable even if it was the dog’s first time biting someone.
In Maryland, it is unlikely that a dog owner will be liable if the dog bit someone while he or she was on the owner’s property as a trespasser.
Have You Been Bitten By a Dog?
If you have recently been bitten by a dog and had to seek medical attention as a result, you may be entitled to monetary damages to compensate you for your injuries, as well as any pain and suffering caused by the bite. Even if the dog is known as a gentle breed and has never bitten anyone in the past, it may still be possible for you to recover for your injuries. To learn more about the laws in Maryland that allow dog bite victims to recover for their injuries, click here, or call 410-654-3600 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
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