Generally, dog bite laws in Louisiana hold the animal’s owner responsible for the damages caused by their pets if there is a known history of aggressive behavior. However, a landlord of the owner of the dog or animal that caused the injury can also be held responsible.
Some of the critical information to know if you have been injured or bitten by a dog or other animals in Louisiana is as follows:
Louisiana Dog Bite Statute
As noted above, the Louisiana Dog Bite Statute applies in cases where the dog or animal that caused the injury has a record of previous aggression. This law is a statutory strict liability rule. The injured party needs only to show that they did not provoke the animal’s attack or have been at fault, even partially to their sustained injuries.
According to the Louisiana Civil Code section 2321, the owner of the dog is liable for damages if the following applies:
- If the owner of the animal knew or should have known their animal’s demeanor would cause damage to another animal or person;
- If the damage caused by the animal could have been avoided by the owner taking reasonable care;
- If the owner of the animal failed to take reasonable care to prevent the damage caused by their animal; and
- If the injured person did not provoke or cause the animal to attack them in any manner.
It is important to note that these injuries caused by an animal are not limited to dog or dog bites. Instead, harm could be caused by any pet or animal, including scratches or other types of bodily injuries.
Insurance Coverage for Dog Bites and Animal Injuries
Generally, a homeowner’s insurance policy covers dog bites or injuries caused by their animals. The homeowner’s insurance company would typically provide a lawyer to defend the homeowner’s policy against any claim.
Dealing with insurance company’s or the other party’s lawyer can be complicated and can have severe implications on your claim. Thus, a knowledgeable legal representative can help you navigate your way to assert your claim against any injuries caused by an animal. Our firm can provide valuable assistance in ensuring that your claims and rights are preserved during this daunting process.
Landlord Responsibility for Dog Bites or Injuries Caused by Animals
In addition to the strict liability rule against the owner of the dog or animal that caused the injury, the injured party can pursue a claim against the landlord of the owner of the animal.
In order to pursue a claim against the landlord of the animal owner, the injured party must show that the landlord knew or should have been aware that their tenant was harboring an animal that has aggressive behavior.
Defenses to the Louisiana Dog Bite Injury Lawsuits
There are two available defenses to the Louisiana Dog Bite Statute strict liability, and they are as follows:
- Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence applies when the injured party is partly or totally at fault for their injuries. The damages awarded to them are reduced by a percentage that is equal to the share of their responsibility for the injuries they had sustained.
Under the Louisiana animal injury law, an injured person who provoked the animal for their attack would be a complete bar to recovery. This means that if a person has provoked an animal to attack them, then they would likely be unable to recover any damages in their claim for their injuries caused by the animal.
Thus, in order to succeed in claiming against the owner and the landlord, if applicable, for a dog bite or injury caused by an animal, the injured party must be able to show that they had neither provoked the animal to attack them nor that they had not played a part in their own injuries.
Statute of Limitation
Another important matter to keep in mind is that dog bite cases fall under personal injury claims in Louisiana. Therefore, it means that an injured party must file their claim to the court within one year from the date of the incident. If the injured party fails to file within this time frame, the court will likely dismiss the case.
Dog bites and injuries caused by animals can have severe physical and psychological implications for an individual’s well-being. Hence, it is crucial to assert your rights and claim what you are rightfully entitled to under the law.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog or have been injured by an animal, you need a reputable lawyer on your side. Our highly experienced injury lawyers are here to guide and help you in your case. Please call us at (225) 963-9638, or you can click here to contact us for a consultation. Our dependable personal injury lawyers can help you assess your situation, represent your claim, and answer any concerns you may have regarding your lawsuit.