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Who is responsible for dog bites and attacks?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2020 | Personal Injury |

There are few things more frightening than seeing a dog coming at you to attack. These events can have catastrophic outcomes, including disfiguring injuries and even death.

Victims and their families can struggle with emotional distress, massive medical bills and lifestyle changes indefinitely, which is why it is crucial to identify who is liable for the damages dog bites cause.

Montana dog bite liability laws

In Montana, owners are generally liable for any damages caused by their dog in an attack, per state laws

However, specific elements of the law can leave room for a dog owner to challenge his or her responsibility after a bite. For example, an owner may not be liable for attacks if:

  • The victim was trespassing
  • The victim provoked the animal

However, if a dog bit you while you were in public or welcomed onto private property, and you were not hurting or attempting to cause harm to a dog, the owner can be liable for damages.

Dog bite damages

Identifying liability can be critical, as bites often take a devastating toll on victims. In many cases, dog bites or attacks can result in:

  • Disfiguring scars or injuries, especially on a person’s face and hands
  • Infections such as tetanus and rabies
  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Puncture wounds
  • Nerve damage
  • Significant blood loss

Further, victims can experience a dramatic impact on their emotional and psychological well-being after an animal attack. People can suffer from depression and anxiety; they may not want to leave the house; they could experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people cannot return to work and lose meaningful relationships.

These damages can require intensive care and ongoing therapy. Even then, a person may never fully recover from an incident like this.

Thus, it makes sense for dog bite victims to hold the appropriate party accountable with legal action. Not only can it protect others from suffering a similar incident with the dog, but it can also provide victims with the compensation they need to move forward after a harrowing experience.


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