Liability for dog bites
Most states have some form of a one-bite rule that limits dog-owners’ liability for their dog’s first bite. After the dog’s first bite however, owners are usually strictly liable for any additional dog bites. A common exception to the one-bite rule is if owners knew their dog had vicious propensities. In other words, if owners knew their dog was likely to bite someone, they are liable for even the first bite. Negligence, trespassing, and self-defense are just a few of the defenses dog owners can assert against plaintiffs in response to a lawsuit. Because dog-bite laws vary by state and municipality, contact your local attorney for detailed information.