Protect Yourself From Animal Liability

Injuries Caused by Your Animals May Subject You to Liability


Animals can be a liability risk if they are not properly trained or maintained. If an animal has not been trained, injuries from scratches, scrapes, bites, jumping up and knocking someone over, with the attendant broken bones or other injuries, could not only increase your insurance premiums. Ways to train your animal could include obedience classes and social play times with other animals as well as other people. It is important to also spay and neuter your pets to reduce the tendency toward aggressive or domineering behavior. When walking your dog, a leash is always appropriate and in most cities, is the law. If your dog is excessively energetic or aggressive, a stronger collar and leash, harness or muzzle could help you avoid risky situations where your animal is out of control.

Exotic Animals

Exotic animals such as reptiles, spiders and poisonous amphibians may create an even greater risk of liability. Precautions must be taken with these kinds of pets such as registering them with the city or local animal control, alerting your neighbors of their existence should any pet escape, and securing the cage or terrarium that the animal or pet lives in. It could also help to detoxicate poisonous or non-indigenous animals, remove fangs (from snakes or spiders) and to never leave a wild animal unattended.

Farm Animals

Farm animals can also be a liability risk if the proper precautions are not taken to keep them safely inside their pens or pastures and off of roadways. Always be sure to keep farm animal vaccinations up to date. Many animals such as horses are tame and “broken” before letting children or inexperienced riders on them.

What happens if you have an aggressive animal?

If your animal has a history of aggressive behavior you may need to consider other options. Animals that are unable to be trained are an even greater legal risk. Generally an animal can only have one bite or incident before it is confiscated and quarantined. If you or someone you know is injured by a domesticated animal, take pictures of the injured area. “A picture is worth a thousand words” and gives a much better description of a contusion or bitten area and will greatly assist your case. Be sure to date pictures and record where the incident happened. Also remember to provide any medical documentation and timely notice of an animal bite or attack to the owner or maintainer of such animal.

Contact Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.

Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C. handles many types of litigation including medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, auto/truck collisions and premises liability cases. For more information or to ask any questions you have about filing an animal liability lawsuit, please contact our injury lawyers or call (800)-553-3125 or email us at

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