Dog Bite Injuries

When it comes to dog bite injuries, most worry about negligent owners with their poorly monitored dogs or even stray dogs doing the biting. However, while both situations can result in dog bites, there is a situation that can be even more common – a dog bite in the care of a dog walker. If your occasionally aggressive dog is inside your home, they are at a much lower risk for having a dog bite incident, obviously. However, that risk goes up exponentially if you have a dog walker take them out for some exercise. Not only is the dog walker at potential risk for getting bit, but anyone else is as well. However, who holds the liability in a dog bite incident when they were with a dog walker?

Dog Walkers and Dog Bites

When it comes to dog bites and dog walkers, typically the dog walker will not have any liability in these incidents. Whether you are using a legitimate dog walker or just a neighborhood kid, the blame will almost always come back to you, the owner. You may note that when choosing a legitimate dog walking service, you will have to sign certain liability forms.

These forms will state that the dog walker and the dog walking service will hold no liability in the event of a dog attack. Typically there are certain clauses within this form to protect the owner as well. For example, if the dog walker specifically antagonized the dog so that it did attack the walker or another person, they can still be held liable for that negligent action instead of the blame still going to the owner.

Insurance

While having insurance to protect the company and walker is recommended for all dog walkers, if you choose to have your pooch walked by a small company, they may not have insurance to cover them.  In this case, the person who is walking the dog may be held liable for its actions under a keeper or harborer clause. Under this clause, it states that if the dog is under the care of another – their keeper - then that keeper is liable for the dog's action, not the owner. This law is frequently used in dog sitting incidents, but it can be applicable to dog walkers as well if they are not covered by insurance.

If you have an aggressive dog, it may be best to not use a dog walker just to avoid any potential incidents. However, the fact remains that dogs need exercise and sometimes an aggressive dog is just an overly bored dog that needs more fitness. If you have a dog that you think might bite, it is best to notify the dog walker beforehand. In this regard, they can take the proper preventative measures. This might mean your dog walking service won't agree to walk your dog, which is within their right. However, more likely, it means that the dog walker will be more aware of your dog's behavior or need to walk them with a muzzle on. Either way, having a dog walker know that your dog might be aggressive is the first and most effective step to preventing dog bite accidents.

If you have been bitten by a dog, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman and Freeman is dedicated to helping make sure that victims get the justice they deserve. Dog bites can be both horrific and traumatic injuries and they deserve compensation so you don't end up paying hundreds of dollars in medical bills that were not your fault, but the fault of a negligent individual who didn't know they had an aggressive dog that was prone to biting.