Proving Your Dog's Innocence In A Bite Claim
If someone is claiming that your dog has bitten them, causing them injuries as a result, and you know they are falsifying their claim, you will most likely want to fight against them in a court of law to prove your dog was not at fault. Proving a dog did not bite someone may be a bit difficult, but if you do the work to obtain witnesses and documentation, you may be able to instill doubt so the jury and judge drop all charges against you. Here are some tips to use when trying to battle a dog bite claim.
Know Your State's Law
Each state has different laws in place regarding dog bites. Some are more strict than others, stating that a dog bite happening in a public area will be at fault of the defendant no matter what the circumstances are. Know your state's laws before fighting a claim so you know what angles you have at your disposal in claiming your dog's innocence. Call a personal injury lawyer if you feel you have a valid case that can be proven or if you live in a state where laws are not as strict against the dog owner.
If you were not at the location at the time the injured claims your dog had bit them, see if you have documentation proving you and your dog were at another area during the incident. Look for credit card receipts, ATM transaction receipts, and cell phone records that may prove you were somewhere else at that time. Ask your veterinarian to write a document for court stating your dog has never had a problem with their demeanor in the past. If you take your pet to a grooming service or boarding facility, get documentation from these businesses as well.
If there are other dogs in your neighborhood who look similar to yours, walk past the houses where they live and take photographs of the dogs. Your dog may have been mistaken for someone else's.
If the bite happened in a public area, there may be people who had witnessed it happening. Find out if there were any surveillance cameras around the scene that may have recorded the incident. If you are not on the tape, you may be able to prove your innocence. You may be also be able to prove your dog was provoked. If the incident supposedly happened near your home, ask neighbors if they noticed anything out of the ordinary when the person getting bit was by your property. If you didn't know the person and they stepped on your property, they may be at fault for trespassing.
For professional legal help, contact a law firm such as Kirkpatrick & Zeitz.