As a business owner, keeping informed about the finer points of employment law is important. If you're getting ready to hire your first employees, you need to be sure that you understand exactly what you can and cannot do. Don't risk getting yourself into legal trouble by asking the wrong question at the interview or making an off-hand comment that's considered legally unacceptable. I created this site to give you the basics of employment law expectations. I hope that the information here helps you to understand what you should and shouldn't do as you're interviewing and hiring your first staff members.
Unless you live in a gated community that does not allow dogs, chances are pretty good there are a few roaming around your community. Fortunately, most dog owners in your community are responsible. They will have a proper enclosure and signs posted to warn people of the dog. This is also someone who would always keep a dog on a leash and under his or her control. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all dog owners. When there are dogs in your neighborhood that do not have a responsible owner, there is always a risk your child will get bitten. The question is: what kind of rights does your child have after being bitten?
One Bite Rule Standard
In some states, there is a rule called the one bite standard. This means the owner of a dog is not liable for the dog attack or bite unless it has happened before. Basically, this means every dog has a right to mess up and attack someone once before the dog and the owner gets in trouble.
Strict Liability Standard
Some states have adopted a rule called the strict liability standard. This rule means a dog owner is always responsible for anything his or her dog does. With this law, it does not matter how aggressive the dog was and whether or not the owner was negligent in caring for the dog.
In states that have adopted the negligence standard, an owner will only be liable for a dog bite if they were negligent in securing the dog. This means that if there was not a sign to warn your child of the dog, it is the owner's fault and not your child's fault. This also means that it would be the owner's fault if it was easy for your child to get in the yard the dog was in.
It is possible for the dog owner to argue that your child was trespassing on his or her property. The owner could also argue that the child should have seen the dog warning sign and stayed out of the yard. Another defense commonly used is that the child aggravated the dog and provoked the attack.
The unfortunate truth is that dog bite laws are complicated. For this reason it is vital for a parent to reach out to an injury lawyer like Brady Law Chartered to learn more about what options they have for their child after the attack.