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Last Modified: June 1, 2023

Who is Liable in my Dog Bite Injury Case?

Published on May 30, 2016 • Last updated June 1, 2023 by Ken Christensen
Topics: Uncategorized

dog biting a person's leg

It’s true that a dog is a man’s best friend. They are loyal, playful, and loving, but they can also be unpredictable. And if you have had an unpleasant run-in with a dog you know that it is hard to forget and can have lasting damage. Dog bites are scary. So, first and foremost it is important to be safe. Know your own dog and be especially careful around the dogs of others, even your friends. Follow this link to receive some guidelines about how to keep you and your family safe and informed: Dog Safety Tips. But even with adequate safety precautions, accidents happen. So if you do get bit who is liable?

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Liability in my Dog Bite Injury Case

In some states, there is a “free bite” rule. Therefore, dog owners are are not accountable or liable for the first bite that their dog commits. Fortunately in Utah, there is a law of strict owner liability. This means that the dog owner is liable for the damage and injury no matter if the dog has shown previous signs of aggressiveness.

That being said, a dog owner might not always be held responsible for the attack. Dog bite cases are determined by comparative fault, or the fault of the victim compared to the dog. This may seem strange, but if the victim intentionally provoked the dog by kicking, hitting, or harassing the dog, then they may be liable. However, be careful with children as they may be unaware that their actions are provoking a dog. In this case, some insurance companies may try to prove that the child is at fault, but the viciousness of the attack most often outweighs those minor actions.

If you have been bitten, here are a few tips to help your case:

  1. Seek medical attention.
  2. Get the names of witnesses and the name of the dog owner.
  3. Notify the police
  4. Take pictures of your injuries immediately.
  5. Don’t offer a recorded statement to the insurance company right away.
  6. Seek help from an experienced dog bite attorney.

If you or one of your loved ones has been bitten by a dog please contact us today. We understand the emotional and physical severity of these attacks and hope to help you receive the compensation that you deserve.

Photo courtesy of

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Anthony Sanchelli


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