Although considered "man's best friend" and beloved by their owner, dogs are animals, and animals for the most part cannot be fully trusted. Even a trusted breed of dog has certain defense instincts, which might be triggered in a time of stress or a perceived threat.
Courts are aware of this potential for an animal attack, and as a result, may find the dog's owner liable for injuries to a victim attacked by an animal. Depending on the severity of the attack, a victim may suffer serious injuries, or even, on occasion, death. Depending on the situation however, if the dog owner can prove that all the necessary precautions were taken and the animal was provoked by the victim, the owner may be able to avoid a potential suit against him or her.
Every case is unique, so it is important to have a full understanding of the laws that pertain to animal attacks to determine whether you have a case. If you do believe you have a case against the dog owner, you may be entitled to compensation for not only medical as well as therapy and rehabilitation costs, but compensation for both pain and suffering and lost wages. For families of a victim who was killed in an animal attack, the immediate family may also be entitled to pain and suffering as well as future lost wages.
Of course, the best way to avoid an animal attack is to avoid an animal that you are not familiar with. If you do not know the animal, the animal does not know you either. Erring on the side of caution is almost always best way to avoid an accident and potentially catastrophic injuries or even death in the event of an animal attack.
Source: findlaw.com, "Dog Bites and Animal Attacks," Accessed, Jan. 17, 2017