Dog Bites

Dog Owners are Responsible for Their Animals – and Liable for Damages When they Bite

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are about 78.2 million dogs kept as pets, service companions or working animals in the United States. And while the vast majority of dog owners understand and live up to the responsibility of keeping an animal, those who don't put others at risk – and should be held liable for the harm their animals inflict.

The personal injury lawyers at Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP have been providing legal assistance to clients in Anne Arundel County and Montgomery County for more than a decade. Victims of dog attacks often bear emotional scars as well as physical ones. This is especially true for children – often the most likely to be bitten by a dog, and often on the face. As dog bite lawyers in Hanover, MD, we help by making sure that you get justice by getting you the maximum recovery for the injuries suffered, including:

  • Doctor bills
  • Physical and psychological counseling
  • Emergency room and medical bills
  • Loss of wages
  • Plastic or reconstructive surgery
  • Pain and suffering

Negligence and Strict Liability in Maryland's Dog Bite Laws

In Maryland, you do not have to show that a dog has bitten before to hold an owner liable. It is also true that some breeds of dogs – pit bulls, in particular – are assumed to be dangerous. Because of that, a bite inflicted by certain dog breeds will fall under strict liability. Strict liability means that even when dog owners are not negligent, they can still be held responsible for damages because they owned an animal presumed to be inherently dangerous.

A dog owner may be held responsible for a claim of negligence if, for example, the dog was running loose or the owner did not control his dog, and the dog subsequently bit you as you were walking along the sidewalk.

Any dog is capable of biting under a given set of circumstances – whether a German Shepherd Dog, a Labrador Retriever, a Dachshund, a Toy Poodle or a mixed breed. Although the majority of injuries caused by animals in the United States are dog bites, other animals can cause injuries as well, including horses and exotic species. The attorneys at Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP are committed to ensuring that you recover all the damages to which you are entitled. We follow every avenue of potential compensation, including animal owners, property owners or landlords, kennel owners and operators and any other person or entity who has responsibility for controlling a dog or other animal.

If you or your child has suffered an animal injury, schedule a free consultation

Because a dog bite injury can happen at any time, we answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs, please contact Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP online or call our Hanover attorneys at (443) 749-5111. We serve clients throughout the region from our office in Hanover, MD.