When someone is the victim of a dog attack, the results and after effects can be devastating both physically and emotionally. While many dog owners are responsible and caring owners, there are those unexpected and unpredictable moments when a dog wreaks havoc on unsuspecting victims.
New Hampshire passed a dog bite statute (RSA 466:19) which states:
Any person to whom or to whose property, including sheep, lambs, fowls, or other domestic creatures, damage may be occasioned by a dog not owned or kept by such person shall be entitled to recover damages from the person who owns, keeps, or possesses the dog, unless the damage was occasioned to a person who was engaged in the commission of a trespass or other tort. A parent or guardian shall be liable under this section if the owner or keeper of the dog is a minor.
As long as the victim was not “teasing, tormenting or committing a trespass” at the time of the attack, the owner of the dog will be held strictly liable for injuries or harm caused by the dog.
Injuries from dog bites can be life changing events as dog bites typically cause long-term scarring and disfigurement. It takes time for the full extent of the scarring to manifest. Dog attacks may also cause significant emotional and mental distress and often times victims need psychological treatment to overcome such harms.
Typically, these claims are covered under the owners’ homeowner’s insurance. Because there are often complex insurance questions regarding coverage and liability, it is important to speak with an attorney to understand your rights.
If you have been attacked by a dog or other animal, please contact me to discuss your claim.