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Going to be around dogs? Watch out for bites

While pets can be an amazing addition to a family, they can also pose a threat. Dogs that are tired, scared, angry or ill could suddenly snap and bite, which could result in serious injuries to a person.

Kentucky recognizes comparative negligence in dog bite incidents

Something to know if you’re going to be around dogs this holiday season is that the state does recognize comparative negligence when bites occur. While the owner will be liable for any injuries a person suffers in most cases, someone who teases or entices a dog may also be held liable proportionately.

Here’s an example. If you’re approaching a colleague’s home and see a dog behind a fence, the normal thing to do would be to call the colleague or wait for them to call their pet inside before approaching. If the dog is excited or barking at you, the last thing you’d want to do is to put your hand through the fence to pet them or to walk in and have them approach you, a stranger, without someone there letting you in.

If you walk into the dog’s territory knowing that it’s acting aggressive or in a way that could lead to aggression and then get bitten, you may be held partially liable for those injuries. A court may say that it was common sense not to put yourself in danger or to put the animal into a position where it felt like it needed to attack.

What happens if you’re bitten but didn’t entice the dog?

Bites happen for many different reasons. If you’re bitten, the first step is to get to safety and to have the dog restrained. Medical care is the next step, so that you can be treated for debris in the wound as well as any damage to your body. Your medical care might include inoculations, antibiotics, surgery or other treatments depending on the severity of your injuries. The owner of the pet should be held liable for any costs associated with your treatment.