Though strict liability generally holds pet parents responsible for the actions of their animals, there are always going to be exceptions. A dog attack of any kind can lead to serious injuries and even possibly death, but an owner may not always be liable. This might seem surprising, but there are instances when victims do intentionally cause attacks.
The primary situation that could lead to trouble for a victim is if the owner claims that the victim did something to provoke an attack. Provoking an attack could let the owner off the hook, especially if a victim puts themselves into harm’s way intentionally.
Here’s an example. If you are mad at your neighbor and want them to get rid of their pet, you wouldn’t have much say in that decision. However, if that pet were to suddenly hurt you, you might have more to say about it. So, if you taunt the animal with a treat and encourage it to snap at you or suddenly hit an animal to provoke an attack, you could be walking on thin ice with the court.
The majority of cases don’t involve people who have intentionally caused an animal to attack. For instance, if you are just playing with a pet when it suddenly becomes aggressive, no one is going to be able to say that you provoked an attack. What’s most important to remember is that your actions do matter in these cases, so you should be honest with your attorney about what happened to have the best opportunity to seek compensation for the injuries that you suffered. In most cases, the pet’s owner will be held responsible for their pet’s actions.