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Dog Bites

Dog attacks represent some of the most gruesome personal injuries that are suffered, particularly where a child is involved (as is often the case). In its most recent study, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually with 16 fatalities recorded in 2011. A significant number of those bitten annually are children. It is important to teach our children to be safe around dogs to prevent these catastrophic events from occurring.

Louisiana has a strict liability dog bite statute that states that the owner of a dog is liable for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person's provocation of the dog. L.A. C.C. Art. 2320.

The owner must be on notice that the animal is dangerous, and a single incident does not necessarily imply this. The test is whether a previous incident was of such a nature as to lead a reasonable person to believe that the dog was sufficiently dangerous to be likely to cause injury to a person at a later date. Rolen v. Maryland Cas. Co, App. 2 Cir.1970, 240 So.2d 42 (1970). However, a "first bite" is not always necessary to make the owner know the dangerous character of his dog, and so he may be liable even if the dog has not bitten anyone before. Reneau v. Brown, App.1928, 158 So. 406, 9 La. App. 375 (1928).

If a stray bites you or your family member, your legal recourse is against a dog's owner or keeper. Your municipality is not responsible for the dog, even if you have called the animal warden several times to pick up the stray.

In all dog bite cases it is essential that measures be taken to identify the animal and its owner. If you or a loved one is a victim of a dog bite, call the Law Office of Kenneth G. Miller at 337-289-1300.

Office Location


Postal and Courier only to:
PMB#577 • 139B James Comeaux Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70508

Phone: 337-289-1300
Fax: 337-289-1302