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An overview of what can happen in cases involving dog bites

It is not always possible to know when -- or whether -- a dog will bite you. In some cases, dog bites can cause serious injuries or even death. If an injury is serious, it may be possible to recover damages from the Hawaii resident who owns the dog that bit you.

Even if it does not seem serious when it happens, anyone bitten by a dog should be checked by medical personnel-- especially if the victim is not familiar with the animal. It is possible to contract certain diseases from dogs or an infection could develop if left untreated. In either case, a significant amount of damages could be incurred recovering from the incident.

Hawaii is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite cases, which means that the owner can be held liable for damages incurred by the victim even if the owner took steps to protect people from the animal. In addition, it is not necessary to prove that the owner had reason to think the dog was dangerous. Damages typically awarded in these types of claims are medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. In some cases, an owner may be so grossly negligent that punitive damages are awarded as well. For example, if an individual owns a dog that he or she knows is dangerous, yet fails to keep the animal away from people.

It is not always only the owner of the dog that may be held liable for dog bites. Landlords, property owners or businesses that board animals such as shelters and kennels may also be held liable depending on the circumstances. Because every case is unique, it may be necessary to have your case reviewed by someone who can render an opinion as to whether it is possible seek damages. This article is just an overview and cannot be substituted for obtaining legal advice.

Source: FindLaw, "Dog Bites and Animal Attack Overview", , Aug. 27, 2014

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