Dog bite laws in Maryland

A cute cuddly puppy often ignites many positive thoughts and emotions. Whether it is in a movie, social media or in person, an individual is likely to associate a dog as being a trusting, loyal companion because society has come to terms that dog is man’s best friend. While most domesticated canines are friendly and well cared for, others may present concerns and even dangers to those that interact with it. It is a shocking event to be bit by a dog, and bite victims should be aware of the laws that protect them in these matters.

Dog bite laws

Maryland law states that a dog owner is liable for damages stemming from personal injury or death by the dog. It further states that when there is evidence that the dog caused the alleged harm, this creates a rebuttable presumption that the owner of the dog either knew or should have known that their dog had vicious or dangerous propensities.

However, a dog owner is not liable for these harms if it is proven that the bite victim committed or attempted to commit a trespass or other criminal activity at the property of the dog owner, committed or attempted to commit a criminal offense against any person or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or provoking the dog.

Damages available

A dog bite could result in serious physical harm. This could result in damages related to pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other related damages. It could also give rise to punitive damages, which are used as a means to punish the behavior of the dog owner. A personal injury action could help a bite victim with the recovery of these losses.

Even just one bite by a dog can emotionally and mentally scar a person for life. Thus, it is important that bite victims look at their damages as a whole. A dog bite is more than a physical injury. This event could cause the victim to fear this animal for a long period of time. Additionally, a dog bite could result in permanent scars and even disfigurement. Because the damages can be extensive, bite victims should explore their rights when it comes to a personal injury action and securing current and future damages.