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One Bite Law: Dog Bite Injury Law Exceptions

Posted on 03/14/22 by admin in Dog Bites

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, know the facts about the one bite law before considering any legal action. Or if you are a dog owner of a puppy who has never acted out but recently was agitated by another person and bit them, continue reading. You may not be held liable in certain circumstances.

Personal injury law differs depending on where you live in the United States. Here in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the one bite rule may apply to a dog bite incident. Continue reading to find out which states this law applies to.

History of the One Bite Law

Variations on the one bite law have been around for centuries, and their origins can be traced all the way back to Ancient Rome. Back then, animal attacks were handled very differently than they are today. If an animal attacked a person, the victim’s family would often take matters into their own hands and kill the animal. This was known as “lex talionis” or “law of retaliation”, and it was based on the principle that an eye for an eye is the best way to ensure justice is served.

One Bite Law: Dog Bite Injury Law Exceptions

One bite laws began to change in the 18th century, when English judges started to rule that victims could only sue the owner of an animal if the animal had previously attacked someone else. This new legal principle was known as “the rule of circumstantial evidence”. It was based on the idea that it was unfair to hold an animal owner liable for an attack if there was no concrete evidence that the animal had previously behaved aggressively. 

One bite laws continued to evolve over the years, and they eventually became what we know today as “one bite laws”. These laws have been controversial from the start, and there is still no consensus on whether they are fair or not. Some people argue that one bite laws unfairly victimize animal owners, while others argue that they provide a much-needed safeguard against dangerous animals. Whatever your opinion on one bite laws may be, there is no doubt that they may be part of the legal landscape.

One Bite Laws Today

A one bite law is a personal injury law that states that an owner or keeper of a dog is only liable for damages caused by their dog if the victim can prove that the owner knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous. The history of one bite laws goes back centuries, and they vary from state to state in terms of what constitutes a “one bite.” There are pros and cons to having one bite laws in place, but they generally exist to protect owners from frivolous lawsuits and help ensure that victims aren’t unfairly punished.

One bite law

For example, if a dog bites someone and the owner can prove that the victim was trespassing or was behaving in a threatening or aggressive manner towards the dog, they may not be held liable under a one bite law. On the other hand, if a dog injures someone who is simply walking down the street, the owner may be held liable even if they had no previous knowledge that their dog was dangerous. One bite laws are controversial, but they remain an important part of personal injury law in many states.

What Can I Do After a Dog Bite?

If you have been injured by a dog bite, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about your rights and options. Dog bite laws can be complicated and vary from state to state. Therefore, it’s important to have an advocate on your side who understands the law and can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Under a one bite law, an owner or keeper of a dog is only liable for damages caused by their dog if the victim can prove that the owner knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous.  For example, if a dog bites someone and the owner can prove that the victim was trespassing or was behaving in a threatening or aggressive manner towards the dog, they may not be held liable under a one bite law.

one bite law

On the other hand, if a dog injures someone who is simply walking down the street, the owner may be held liable even if they had no previous knowledge that their dog was dangerous.

Where we practice in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the one bite rule applies to only Virginia. The one bite law in Virginia can be a valuable tool for injured victims seeking compensation for their injuries. However, it is important to remember that this law only applies to injuries that are caused by a dog bite. If a dog causes injuries in another way, such as by knocking someone down, the owner or keeper may not be liable under this law.

Contact a Dog Bite Attorney Today & Ask Us About the One Bite Law

Dog bite laws can be tricky to deal with. You don’t have to deal with it alone. If you have been injured by a dog, it is important to speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer who can advise you of your rights and help you seek the compensation you’re entitled to. Contact the experienced dog bite lawyers at Malloy Law Offices, LLC for a free consultation today! Call as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the less valuable your case becomes.