In the summer, it’s not uncommon to see dogs out on their leashes with owners, or running around in their yards. We’ve probably all had a scare or two walking near a fence when a dog comes barking through from the other side, or when a big dog runs at you in the park. You never know which dogs you see are going to be friendly, especially when they are off their leash.
Dog bites are a common issue in Louisiana. As a matter of fact, New Orleans made the U.S. Postal service’s 2016 list of top cities for dog attacks (and mail delivery people probably know more about the issue than any of us). If you are attacked by a dog, the result may be expensive medical bills, permanent disfiguration or disability or even death. One such incident received much publicity in Georgia, when a woman’s son’s dogs mauled her to the point where both of her legs needed to be amputated. Her sons are facing criminal charges in that case.
Louisiana Civil Code states that dog owners are strictly liable for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog that the owner could have prevented (with an exception if the dog was provoked by the victim.) The code does not refer specifically to bites. If, for example, a large dog tackles someone to the ground and causes a back or head injury, the owner may still be liable for that.
Dog owners have a responsibility to keep visitors and the public safe from vicious animals. If you are injured in a dog attack, speak to a personal injury attorney.