Pikesville Dog Bite Attorney
Personalized Representation from an Honest and Effective Trial Lawyer
Dog bite injuries can be very concerning. However, Maryland holds dog owners strictly liable for any damages (bites) their dogs incur. If you have been injured to some capacity by a dog bite, there are a couple of ways you can sue the dog owner. The Law Office of Justin A. Wallace is a trial firm that can help you build a strong and effective case for civil court. Attorney Justin A. Wallace will provide the personalized attention you deserve on your case and guide you efficiently through the legal process as you make your claim for damages.
Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace online to get started.
Dog Bite and Behavior Laws in Maryland
The Code of Maryland Section 3-1901 establishes that the dog owner is liable for any “injury, death, or loss to person or property” that their dog causes. This law concerns injuries inflicted by any dog-related behavior, not only dog bites.
However, the dog owner is not liable for damages if the injured party was doing any of the following:
- provoking, abusing, teasing, or tormenting the dog;
- trespassing or attempting to trespass on the dog owner’s territory;
- committing or attempting to commit a crime on the owner’s property or against another person.
Strict Liability and Negligence
Maryland handles dog bite cases under the “strict liability” rule, which states that the dog owner is liable for all damages caused by their dog, whether or not the dog owner knew their dog would act aggressively and even if they took reasonable actions to prevent the dog from causing injuries. The law also presumes that, if a dog has previously injured or killed someone, the dog owner consequently should have known their dog was dangerous. So, if the court finds that the dog has harmed someone in the past, they will presume that the dog owner knew the dog would do so again (unless the dog owner can prove otherwise).
An injured plaintiff may also sue on the grounds of negligence if not strict liability. In order to bring forward a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the dog owner had a duty to use reasonable care but breached that duty (e.g., the dog owner failed to properly restrain their dog), and this breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Criminal Penalties for Dog Owners
Dog bite cases may not only be civil matters but also criminal. If the dog is classified as a “dangerous dog,” the dog bite or other injury will result in criminal penalties against the dog owner. The Code of Maryland Section 10-619 defines a “dangerous dog” as a dog that has killed or inflicted severe injury on someone without provocation or that was classified as “potentially dangerous” but then:
- bit someone;
- killed or injured another domestic animal; or
- attacked without being provoked.
Any violation of the above will result in misdemeanor penalties of up to $2,500 in fines and possible jail time for the dog owner.
Note that individuals are legally allowed to keep dangerous dogs – but only if they take the required precautions to care for the dog. Maryland law requires owners of dangerous dogs to abide by a number of laws, including keeping the dog on their property, restraining the dog when it goes off the property, and putting a muzzle on the dog when it’s around others. Failing to follow any of these rules constitutes a criminal misdemeanor.
If you have been injured in a dog bite accident, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace for legal guidance on your civil claim. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to obtain damages for medical bills and lost wages, among other economic and non-economic damages.
Schedule a free consultation with the firm today to learn more about your options and how to get started on your lawsuit.
Negligent Failure to Warn $1,000,000
Pedestrian Accident $500,000
Pedestrian Accident $306,179.53
Auto Accident $155,000
Auto Accident $150,000
Pedestrian Accident $100,000
Motor Vehicle Collision $60,000
Auto Accident $60,000
Dog Bite $50,000
Motor Vehicle Collision/Train Collision $50,000
Result was well beyond my comprehension!- Chuck, Former Client
Friendly, professional and detail oriented.- Anissa, Former Client
Justin is the rare breed of lawyer!- Adam, Former Client
When your hurt it's good to have someone fighting on your side.- Rasheedah, Former Client
Justin is a very gifted lawyer!- Brenna, Former Client
Big-Firm Results, Small-Firm AttentionAt our firm, our clients get the personalized attention they need without compromising on results.
Exceptional Trial AttorneyOver the years, Attorney Wallace has displayed exceptional skill and talent when litigating cases in court.
Always Working in the Best Interest of Our ClientsPursuing an outcome that is most important to the client and their families is our number one priority.
Tech-Savvy FirmOur team uses technology to make the client experience as easy and streamlined as possible.
We believe in doing whatever it takes to protect the best interest of our client. This means we prepare every case as if it's going to trial, and if it does need to be litigated in court, we're not afraid to do it.