Understanding Louisiana Dog Bite Laws
Two General Principles
Most states have dog bite laws that follow one of two general principles. Louisiana dog bite laws are unique, but more on that later.
Negligence theory of liability. Under this legal principle, a person injured by a dog bite must show that the owner did not do their part to use reasonable care to control or restrain their dog.
Strict liability. Under this legal principle, a dog owner is always responsible for the actions of their dog, no matter how much effort the owner puts into restraining the dog or its actions. No matter what, if the dog causes an injury, the owner is responsible. If the owner is responsible, they should be made to pay any costs associated with the attack.
Louisiana Dog Bite Laws
Louisiana is somewhat unique in that bite laws are a combination of the two principles. For all animals other than dogs, the negligence theory applies. When a dog is involved, the strict liability principle is in play as long as the owner could have prevented the injuries and the injured person did not do anything to provoke the dog.
In Louisiana, criminal charges can be filed when a dog injures a person. If a person is attacked by a dog, the dog owner can face up to six months in jail, community service, and a $500 fine.
Find A Dog Bite Attorney in Louisiana
In addition to criminal penalties, an injured person may also work with a dog bite attorney to file a civil suit. This allows them to seek damages for their injuries. It’s important to note that the statute of limitations rules applies to dog bite cases. A person has one year from the date of the dog bite incident to bring his or her case to the court system.
While laws on the books refer to dog bites, Louisiana’s statutes apply to injuries for all kinds of animal behavior. If a person is knocked down by a wild dog, or if they are trampled by a horse, or severely scratched by any kind of clawed animal, an owner may also be held liable for those actions.
The dog bite attorneys at Williamson Fontenot Campbell & Whittington, LLC have proudly served Baton Rouge and nearby Louisiana communities for many years. We have experts on Louisiana dog bite laws who are happy to talk to anyone who thinks they might have a dog bite lawsuit to pursue.