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What happens after you’re bitten by a dog in Kentucky?

No matter a dog’s demeanor, it may have the ability to injure you. Most dogs are friendly and loving companions. But they will still bite when provoked. A small number, too, are aggressive, whether by nurture or nature. Regardless of which type bit you, it’s important to know how you can protect yourself afterward.

Kentucky’s dog bite laws

Kentucky’s dog bite laws follow strict liability doctrine. These laws hold the dog’s owner completely responsible for any bite you sustain. If the owner is found at fault, the state may designate the dog as vicious. Upon receiving this classification, the owner must keep it in a secure enclosure at least seven feet high or in a locked kennel run. The dog can only leave to go to the vet or to face surrender at an animal shelter, and it must wear a muzzle in both instances.

After the attack, you have the option of filing a civil complaint against the dog’s owner, which will lead to a hearing. You have one year after your date of injury to do so. Based on a judge’s findings, the owner may face a small fine or a short prison sentence for neglecting to attend to their dog. And depending on the circumstances of the attack, they may also have to confine the dog or have it destroyed.

Comparative negligence

On occasion, Kentucky’s comparative negligence law applies to dog bite cases. This will happen if your actions contributed to the attack. You may have approached a dog that was growling or snarling. Or, it may have bit you after you provoked it. In these cases, you might shoulder partial or complete fault for the attack. A judge, then, may determine that you will only receive a percentage of the damages sought.

Dog bites have the potential to cause serious injuries. If you have sustained them, a personal injury attorney can help you work toward appropriate recourse.