When it comes to dog bite laws in Utah, the states observe the strict liability rule, which means that the owner of the dog is legally held responsible for any injuries his or her dog caused another individual.
The owner also isn’t required to be aware of his or her pet’s vicious inclinations. Also, your child, the victim of the dog bite, won’t need to prove that the owner knew about the dog’s vicious inclinations or that the dog is in fact vicious.
Comparative Fault Rule in Utah Dog Bite Cases
Although the state observes the strict liability rule, courts would likewise consider you’re your child’s actions during the dog bite attacks.
For instance, your child teased, tormented, or kicked the dog and provoked the dog into “attack mode,” the court might not hold the owner liable for the incident, explains Kelly & Bramwell, P.C., a renowned personal injury lawyer in Utah.
Do note that playing with or petting a dog isn’t typically regarded provocation unless the owner explicitly warned your child not to pet the dog. In case one or more dogs, owned by different owners, acted together in the incident that injured your child the court would hold them both responsible.
When Rule Doesn’t Apply
However, courts don’t apply the comparative fault rule in dog bite cases that involve children, simply because you do not expect children to be aware of provocative actions, depending on how old they are.
This means that the defendant, the dog’s owner, would be held fully responsible for the injuries of your child and would be ordered to pay for all your child’s treatment costs as well as compensation for mental anguish, physical pain, emotional pain, the possibility of being infected with rabies, and punitive damages.
The court might even order the dog to be euthanized if they find that the dog is immensely vicious.
The Bottom Line
A dog attack could be especially stressful and traumatic for your child. He or she might even develop a fear of dogs or animals in general following the incident.
With this in mind, it’s imperative that you get help from a skilled personal injury attorney to make certain that your child would get just compensation for all the consequences of the dog attack.