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Legal Consequences of Dog Bites in Kentucky

Legal Consequences of Dog Bites in Kentucky

What you’ll learn reading this article:

  • Dog owners are held strictly responsible for their pet’s behavior in Kentucky.
  • Criminal charges do occur in some circumstances.
  • An injured victim can start a civil action to recover compensation.

When it comes to dogs, Kentucky is a strict liability state. This means there are almost no exceptions to a dog owner’s responsibility for their pet’s actions.

It’s no excuse to say, “He’s never done this before!” Even if a dog has never shown any tendency to misbehave in the past, its owner will be held accountable for a single instance of the animal biting, knocking someone down, or otherwise harming someone.

Criminal Consequences for Kentucky Dog Owners

Dog attacks are taken very seriously in our state and owners are contacted by the police and/or animal control after an attack. If a dog attacks someone while off its premises or out of its owner’s control, the owner may receive a fine between $50 and $200 and/or a jail term of 10 to 60 days. Penalties escalate after the first incident.

The dog will face consequences too. In these situations, the animal may be removed from its owner temporarily or permanently based on the details of the incident and the dog’s history. In the future, the dog could be required to wear a muzzle or stay confined to an enclosure of a certain size.

Under Kentucky law, any dog running loose after being deemed “vicious” by the state is subject to immediate destruction by a police officer or animal control officer. It’s an unfortunate consequence of aggressive behavior in dogs.

Kentucky’s Devastating History of Dog Attacks

Even Kentucky’s harsh dog bite laws can’t stop dog attacks from happening. You may remember seeing numerous stories in the local media about these attacks.

  • In Whitley County in 2017, a 79-year-old was attacked and killed by a group of dogs as he visited a towing and wrecking business.
  • In Louisville in 2019, a three-year-old boy was mauled to death by two Rottweilers right in his own back yard.
  • In February 2020, a Knott County teenager died near his home after being attacked by a pack of dogs roaming the neighborhood.

A study of Kentucky dog attacks by the National Institutes of Health found that while many deaths and severe injuries happen during dog attacks, additional harm can also occur in the days afterward. Victims sometimes die later of bacterial sepsis, secondary infections, tooth and jaw damage/infections, and complications from plastic surgery and other procedures.

What would you do if you or your child experienced the trauma of a dog attack? Even if you survive the attack, suddenly you have months of doctor’s appointments, huge medical bills, and ongoing pain and suffering. Children can experience lifelong emotional damage from dog attacks.

After an Attack, Injured Victims Can Sue Dog Owners

The silver lining here is that Kentucky dog bite victims are permitted to sue for compensation. As long as you start your lawsuit within one year of the incident, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

You have a good chance of winning in court due to our state’s strict liability law. By working with an experienced dog bite attorney, you could potentially avoid a court battle and negotiate an out-of-court settlement that secures the compensation you need to move forward after the attack.

Trust McCoy & Sparks – Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Nelson County

Recognized as Nelson County’s best law firm for over a decade and counting, McCoy & Sparks works to help people in trouble, representing thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service and delivering superior results. Regardless of the type of case, our goal is to develop a strategy that best serves your personal needs, then draw upon our courtroom skills to help you reach the best possible result. We start by getting to know you. Next, we will explain all your options, giving you the pros and cons of each choice so that you will be empowered to make informed decisions. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation for you. Make the right call to 1-844-4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our attorneys today.