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Who is responsible for an animal attack?

Dogs have always been labelled as "man's best friend," and for good reason. Americans throughout the country take exceptional pride in their pets, and value dogs as much as anything. But, not all animals are safe. While some breeds of dogs have labels of being possibly aggressive, warranted or not, it is possible that a dog not appropriately trained, neglected or even trained to fight may attack a person.

Different animals may have different standards when it comes to liabilities. Generally speaking, wild animals are under stricter regulations, as the animals are not domesticated and are typically considered inherently wild. In addition, laws vary by state in how animal attack cases are handled.

Dog bites can lead to serious injuries, and in some instances even death. Such severe injuries can lead to life-long consequences, including permanent injuries or disfigurements that are irreparable. Following an animal attack, the victim must prove that the owner was aware of the animal's propensity for vicious behavior, and that proper precautions, such as leashing or muzzling the animal, were not met. Failing to address these conditions is grounds for neglect, similar to property owners failing to address hazards on their property.

Victims of a dog bite may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation costs and even pain and suffering. There are often time limits on how long a person can wait before filing a personal injury lawsuit in an animal attack, so it would be in the victim's best interest to get information regarding legal options as soon as possible after the incident.

Source: findlaw.com, "Dog Bites and Animal Attacks," Accessed on Nov. 22, 2016

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