When you hear of the phrase “man’s best friend”, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? Probably a dog. That phrase has developed over the years because of the realization of people’s relationships with dogs. Pets oftentimes may be thought of as cute and innocent, however that’s not how the origin of dogs started out. In fact, people suffer dogbites every day in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.. If you’ve suffered a dog injury, contact a dog bite lawyer, right away.
Dogs in the past were bred to fight. In fact their ancestors are the wolves. Therefore, it’s understandable if a dog has a sudden urge to bite or even attack. Dogs have developed as pets and can be trained but it all depends on who is responsible for the dog. If an owner or care taker is not careful, a dog bite injury can happen. Even to another pet or dog. If a person is injured by a dog bite, they or their guardian has the ability to have legal help. On the other hand, a dog injury due to another dog is sometimes not as easy to handle. Ultimately, there is a difference between personal injury law and when there is a dog injury due to another dog attack.
Personal injury law involves an injured person or people. This includes dog bites. Personal injury law in the 21st century in the U.S. does not include dog injury or pet injuries. In some U.S. states, the law for a dog injury would look more like “property damage”.
However in Maryland and Washington DC, the law may change over time including more shifts in law to accommodate dog injury as personal negligence. If this were the case, caretakers of the injured dog would have the ability to file a lawsuit for their pets medical bills and trauma.
We see trends in modern day of the possibility of animal cruelty laws expending. We notice the trends by looking at how far we have come with animal cruelty laws.
In the 1800s, animal laws looked a lot different than they do now. At this time people were unsure whether cruelty to animals was a criminal offense in the early common law period. Specifically in England, there were no recorded cases which resulted in criminal penalties for animal abuse. On the contrary, when an animal was on someone else’s property, then the property owner could bring a civil action for trespassing against the pet’s owner. However, acts against animals might be classified as another offense or dismissed completely. Nonetheless, there were some progressive movements toward anti-animal cruelty laws during this time.
The courts eventually decided the meanings of the terms “cruelty,” “torture” and “torment” to describe animal injury more specifically dog injury. The decision to do this was not to describe the pain the animal was in, but the justification for the infliction of the pain. Therefore, abuse was no longer allowed but this did not include accidental injuries.
Laws made for the protection of animals have remained stagnant for many years. Nonetheless, these changes in the 1800s have shifted and shaped present day animal “rights” laws.
In the 21st century we have progressed so much further for the protection of animals. Laws are constantly changing, so there is the possibility of progressing further. Along with punishment for acts of intended injuries, a pet owner must follow rules or face lawful consequences. Unlawful acts would include:
What a pet owner must do is:
Pet owners and caretakers have major responsibilities. These rules are in place to prevent incidents such as dog bite injuries whether it be a personal injury or dog injury. Negligence may not look the same for both situations. Regardless, we may see even more changes in laws for the protection of animals.
More laws have passed and are being talked about, which allow pets to be seen as helpers and not just property by law. For example, service dogs which once was a crazy idea is now a reality. In Maryland, those who medically need a service animal are allowed to bring their pet with them in places such as hotels, public transportation, restaurants, rental establishments and more. Usually places wouldn’t allow pets or dogs inside their buildings. At this rate, there may be a possibility of including dogs as a part of a “carpool” for HOV lanes in Maryland.
The law is always changing along with exceptions in society. In the future we may see a dog injury case be included in personal injury law. However, right now it is not. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say or do anything if you get injured by a dog bite. If a dog bites and injuries you, no matter how sudden, get help.
First, if you’ve been injured, get medical help. It’s always important to make sure you are not risking your health. Make sure you also get help from police or animal control if possible. In situations like this, you may not have time to think about or deal with this alone. Get professional help. Then when you are ready, get a lawyer’s help. Personal injury law is always changing. You may never know you have a case or not unless you ask. Without any legal help you may be risking the opportunity for a speedy recovery and financial help. Calling is just one step away: (202) 933-1918. Make sure to get the necessary help you need.