by guest author Claire Waltham
Home security is vital, especially today when robberies and home invasions are still on the rise despite police efforts. People employ
German Shepherd guard dog
several means to beef up their security. They install surveillance cameras, door and window alarms, heat sensors, and other gadgets that can improve their safety. Many also opt to use guard dogs. Some of these animals are trained by professionals. Still, the average dog can help in protecting a home as it is innate in canines to be protective of their space.
One concern of many dog owners is regarding dog biting accidents. Many take precautions, which often include dog training and socialization. They expose their animals to all sorts of circumstances so that their canines will get used to people and especially children. When animals are well-trained and balanced, biting incidents are greatly reduced. But what should a dog owner do if his pet bites an intruder? Can the intruder sue him? Is the injury the dog’s or the homeowner’s fault? When a guard dog or a pet bites a person who trespassed on a property, there are certain elements that must be established first. It is better for a property owner to call an injury attorney who can help him make sense of the situation. But generally, a dog owner can avoid legal responsibility based on the following elements:
When a dog senses an intruder, its first reaction is to growl or bark. This alerts the homeowners of the situation. But a burglar or prowler may react differently. Instead of running away from an already tense dog, he could provoke the animal by trying to beat or frighten it so that it will shut up. People should remember that dogs are loyal animals, and they tend to listen only to their masters. An intruder who tries to silence a dog by force can find himself in a dangerous situation. Instead of silencing the dog, he could get bitten or get mauled.
A dog owner can avoid liability if he is able to prove that his animal was provoked. Provocation includes teasing, hitting, slapping, attacking, or throwing things at a dog. Nevertheless, each dog bite incident is different. In some cases, dog owners must also prove that their dogs are not abused. They are also required to state whether or not their animals have been involved in previous biting incidents.
- The intruder was aware of the dangers of injury from the dog.
A trespasser who forcibly enters a property which is known to be guarded by canines will most likely get bitten. When a biting accident happens, the homeowner will most likely avoid accountability if he is able to prove that the intruder was well aware that there were dogs in the area. Therefore, it is important for people with guard dogs to post warning signs, like “Beware of Dog” or “Warning: Guard Dogs.” People who ignore such signs will have a weaker case if they decide to sue animal owners.
- The person was breaking the law or trespassing.
Generally, when trespassers get bitten by guard dogs, the animals’ owners are not liable. However, situations vary, and each state has their own regulations about this. Dog owners can protect themselves from liability if they post visible warning signs. If a person expects visitors in his property, it is also important o contain or restrain a dog to prevent accidents.
- Photo courtesy of Maggie Smith at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Claire Waltham is a freelance writer who specializes in personal injury issues. She regularly blogs for several known and successful lawyers, such as Bob Cohen’s attorneys.
Read Full Post »