Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 6 years ago

Who is liable for dog bites?

I have a friend who is currently in hot water. His dog kinda bit a little kid and this kid had to go to the ER. Long story short, the family on the child is suing him. On the day on said event, he was on his property, with his dog. He was just sitting along watching the other neighborhood kids play. However this other child decided to walk onto his driveway behind him. As the child approached him with his back facing the child, the dog all of a sudden went dashing and took down the child to the floor. I'm assuming he thought the child was going to attack him because the owner didn't even know the child sneaking up on him. According to him, his dog only had like 4 seconds to attack and pin down the child. He couldn't react fast enough because it went so quick. He also said there was a small pool of blood, and he immediatly sent his dog home in order to help the child. He then notified the child's parent and they just rushed the child to the ER. I think he said a day or two later, they said they were going to sue him because it was his fault the dog attacked their child. However he claims that the child shouldn't have been on his property to begin with. Most the kids were playing in front of his yard at the time, and he doesn't know why the child deicded to just get on his driveway. By the way, this happened in the Maryland, if that helps.


The dog was on leash. It just happened that my friend could'nt react quick enough when the dog went dashing for the kid. He didn't know what was going on.

8 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to Maryland law, your friend is not a fault.

    "Maryland law also states that trespassers, or people who are on another's private property without permission, may not receive compensation for their injuries. This rule is consistent with others that limit homeowner liability for trespasser injuries."

    "A dog owner is not liable when his dog bites a trespasser, whether the trespass is intentional or inadvertent. Bramble v. Thompson, 264 Md. 518 (1972)."

    To everyone saying that he's at fault, don't just voice your opinions. Actually help him with legit facts and laws.

  • Boots
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    It depends on the state law and the history of the dog, it's breed etc. It can also be affected by the age of the minor child. If he child is young enough, he may be considered too young to be capable of negligence.

    If your friend has a homeower or renters policy, he may want to speak to his agent about turning in a claim. That way, his insurance company can investigate the matter. If they determine that your friend is not liable for the childs injuries and the childs parents sue, then the insurance company will pay to defend him, per the terms of the insurance policy.

  • 6 years ago

    In my country, dogs must be kept in fenced yards and on a leash while walking them. The owner of the dog is always responsible for the dog's actions.

  • Frank
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    The owner of the dog is liable.

    The fact that the child was on his property does not mitigate his liability. See my source for an explanation of why.

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  • 6 years ago

    Well the dog was in your property.

    Second, the child went into your property.

    Third, where were the parents?

    If the child was unsupervised, than it may be likely that the parents can be at fault.

  • Pete
    Lv 5
    6 years ago

    The owner of the dog is liable. A dog is property and you must have your property under control at all times.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    OWNER especially if the dog has a "history of aggression "

    dog was acting "naturally"

    Children cannot be held responsible for their own bad decisions.

  • 6 years ago

    Owner of the dog is always liable for bites.

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