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Waldorf, MD Dog Bite Cases: What is a Dangerous Dog in Maryland?

In general, in Maryland, a “dangerous” is one that has bitten or attacked a person or animal without being provoked, exhibits aggression, has been trained to be aggressive in defense of property or persons, has been exposed to rabies, etc. These are some of the circumstances under which a dog can legally be deemed “dangerous” under Maryland law. Generally, a determination of a dog’s status as “dangerous” is made by a Maryland court after the dog has bitten or attacked a person.

Note that a dog can also be deemed “vicious” in court proceedings. A dog can be legally deemed “vicious” if the bites are “severe” or if the dog was previously deemed “dangerous” and there is another bite/attack. Typically, “vicious” dogs are ordered to be “put down.”

The legal status of a dog as “dangerous” or “vicious” is important in Maryland dog bite personal injury cases. If you have been injured by a “dangerous” dog, then it will be easier for you to recover compensation from the dog’s owner for your injuries. You are entitled to make an insurance claim and/or file a dog bit lawsuit in Maryland courts to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and any other provable damages. Often, the dog owner will have homeowner’s insurance that will cover dog bites. In many cases, the insurance will cover the damages and there will be an insurance settlement. If you have been injured by a Maryland dog bite or dog attack, contact the canine attack lawyers here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Our number is (301) 870-1200. We are experienced and top-tier Maryland dog bite injury attorneys.

At its core, dog bite injury law is based on the theory of negligence. In Maryland, legal liability for negligence means proving four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury/property damage. Under Maryland law, dog owners have a duty to keep their dogs from injuring others. Further, dog owners are presumed to know that their dog can bite or attack another person. As such, each dog owner must undertake certain tasks, the most important of which is to keep the dog leashed when out of the house or yard. When a dog bites or attacks, that is generally a breach of duty. Injury and causation are, then, easy to prove. Under these circumstances, the dog’s owner is legally liable to pay compensation for all injuries and damages.

If a dog is deemed “dangerous,” the owner’s duties are increased. Extra steps must be taken by the dog’s owner, like strict measures to keep the dog confined or fenced, keeping the dog muzzled, posting a “dangerous dog” sign, etc. If a “dangerous” dog bites or attacks, recovery of damages is almost assured.

Note that there are some legal defenses to liability in dog bite/canine attack cases. Two common defenses are that the victim was trespassing and/or the victim provoked the dog into biting/attacking. If either of those are proven, it will be more difficult to obtain a settlement and/or win a dog bite personal injury lawsuit.

Contact Waldorf, MD Personal Injury Attorney Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer at (301) 870-1200. We are Waldorf, MD, Personal Injury lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD, 20601.