Bitten By A Dog While Trespassing - Who's Responsible?

28 January 2020
 Categories: , Blog


Dog bite injuries are a common reason for a personal injury claim, but even cases like this that seem like they should be straightforward can get pretty complicated. Certain factors can mean there is more to a case than simply filing a suit against the dog owner, collecting a settlement, and moving on. One thing that can complicate the situation pretty drastically is if the person who was bitten by a dog was on the property without permission of the homeowner. If this is the situation you are in, it is best if you know a few things right away. 

Most dog owners cannot be held liable if you were trespassing when bitten.

In general, the law defines a trespasser as someone who makes their way onto a property without having the proper permission to actually be there. Typically, anything that happens to a trespasser after they have breached the boundaries of the property without having permission is going to be the fault of the trespasser, even if they are bitten by a dog. It is actually quite rare for a property owner to be held liable for a dog bite injury if the individual who got bitten was on the property without permission.

However, there are a few exceptions that exist.

Even though it is true that most cases involving a dog bite injury cannot be associated with a personal injury claim because the property owner cannot be held liable, there are certain exceptions that do exist. For example, a property owner may still be held liable if they are found to be acting with willful and wanton misconduct. In more basic terms, this means that the property owner knowingly created a dangerous property condition without posting proper warnings. In the case of an aggressive dog roaming the property specifically for the purposes of protection, this would mean that the property owner did not post warning signs on the property to beware of the dog.  

Trespasser laws in your state can come into play. 

Just like a lot of other types of legal claims, trespassing laws can vary from state to state. This is one reason why it's so important to work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who is familiar with cases that involve trespassing and dog bite injuries. There can be certain laws that are established in the state where you live that can affect whether or not the property owner is liable at all or even partially liable for your injuries.

To learn more, contact a resource like Maruca Law.