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Liability of dog owners for bites or attacks in Louisiana

Premises liability claims can stem from injuries caused by various forms of negligent or careless conduct by a property owner. The most common of these claims are slip and fall injuries, however, those resulting from improper lighting, inadequate security and dog bites may also arise. For dog bite, or animal attack, claims of premises liability, the victim and the dog owner should understand the laws in place in their state regarding such liability.

In certain states, strict liability is imposed upon the dog owner for any injuries or property damage caused by the dog. Under strict liability it is irrelevant whether the dog owner did anything wrong in preventing the injuries, nor does it matter whether the dog owner knew or should have known of any dangerous tendencies of the animal. If the dog bites someone, the owner is liable for the resulting damages.

Louisiana, like some other states, imposes liability upon the owner only if they knew or should have known that the dog's behavior could cause damage. Additionally, the owner must know that applying reasonable care could prevent the damage, and they failed to exercise that care. Victims of dog bites are prevented from asserting liability on the dog owner if they provoked the dog in any way, leading to the bite or attack. Proving that a dog owner knew or had reason to know that their dog had dangerous propensities can be difficult for victims. This determination involves many factors including the breed of the dog, warning signs on the premises, and prior complaints made to the owner, among others.

An attack or bite by a dog can cause severe damage to a victim. If the dog owner knew such an injury could occur and did nothing to prevent it, they may face liability for their pet's behavior. A personal injury attorney can assist those injured with obtaining the necessary proof for their claim and asserting liability on the appropriate parties.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, "Art. 2321. Damage caused by animals," accessed on Sept. 20, 2015

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