In most dog bite cases, the owner of the dog is considered the responsible party. However, there is some confusion about who is liable when the dog bite occurs when it is in the present of someone different, such as a groomer. If you were bitten by a dog while it was with the groomer, here is what you need to know.
Is the Groomer Responsible?
Whether the groomer is responsible depends on your state's laws. In some states, groomers are viewed as keepers. A keeper is generally considered to oversee the care and control of the dog. If your state regards groomers and keepers, you could possibly hold the groomer responsible for any injuries you suffered from the dog bite.
In other states, the dog owner is responsible for the behavior of the dog regardless of it being under the care of the groomer at the time of the bite. Since the owner is liable, you could pursue legal action against him or her.
It is important to note that some states will allow you to pursue legal action against both the groomer and the owner. If that is the case in your state, you could sue both parties and they would be charged with paying any award that you are given by the court.
Before filing a claim or lawsuit to collect monetary compensation for your injuries, review your state's dog bite laws. A personal injury attorney can help identify who is legally responsible.
What Do You Have to Prove?
Once you have decided who you are going to file a claim against or sue, you must put your case together. One of the most important parts of your dog bite case is establishing that the owner or groomer were negligent. Depending on the circumstances, this could be one of the easier parts of your case.
For instance, if the groomer failed to keep a dog with a known history of aggression away from others, you could claim that he or she did not take the necessary steps to protect others from the dog.
After proving that the groomer or dog owner were negligent, you must prove that you suffered injuries. The injuries are not always limited to physical ones. If you missed work or your clothes were ripped, you can sue for those.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer, such as from Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC, soon after receiving treatment for your dog bite injury. The statute of limitations could prevent you from taking action if you wait too long.