Are you a victim of a dog bite? Kentucky is a strict liability state and requires that the owners of the dog be fully liable if the dog bites someone, even if the dog has never bitten or harmed anyone previously.

If you choose to take a dog biting case to court, you typically have up to one year to file a civil lawsuit in the court. The date this term begins is normally on the date of the injury. If the injury is not apparent until later, that is the day the term will begin. Typically, Kentucky courts tend to favor the dog biting victim rather than the dog.

The dog may be deemed “vicious” by the court as a result of the court case. If this is the case, it may be allowed to return to the owner, but it must be confined to a locked enclosure at least 7 feet high or a locked kennel run with a secured top. The dog will only be allowed to leave the enclosure if they are visiting the veterinarian or if it is being taken to an animal shelter, and it must wear a muzzle If allowed out of its enclosure. If any vicious dog is found running outside of its confinement, it may be killed without liability by animal control officer or peace officer.

There are no exceptions for the dog owner’s defense in Kentucky. For example, if the owner’s dog bit or harmed the victims because of trespassing or antagonizing from the victim, the owners are still held responsible for the damage to the victim. This also includes if a damages someone else’s livestock, dog, or other property.

However, under Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence law, the dog’s owner pays only a percentage of the fault determined for the victim. For example, if someone throws an item at a dog and the dog launches and bites the individual, the jury will decide what percentage is the fault of the victim. If the total damages equal $5,000 and the victim is found to be at 50% fault, the dog’s owner only has to pay $2,500.

For more information visit: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=12461

Are you a victim of a dog biting incident? For a free evaluation of your divorce case and further information contact The Bryant Law Center at lawteam@bryantpsc.com.