Many people believe that certain dog breeds get a bad rap. They are quick to point out that it's the owner who is the problem, not the breed of dog. Regardless of personal feelings, dog owners should understand that not everyone shares the same views.
In fact, some insurance companies won't insure homeowners or renters because of their dogs. Fair or not, some breeds have gained a reputation for being more aggressive than others. As a result, some municipalities even ban what they consider the most aggressive dog breeds.
Breeds of Dogs Commonly Considered Aggressive
Not all insurance companies inquire about the breed of dog. Some will cover any type, while others are pickier. One of the risks the homeowner faces is when he/she doesn't disclose the breed of dog (when asked) and someone gets injured. If the owner files a claim, the insurer may deny it.
The following are dog breeds that insurance companies may consider aggressive:
- Pit Bulls;
- Doberman Pinschers;
- German Shepherds;
- Great Danes;
- Presa Canarios;
- Siberian Huskies; and
- Alaskan Malamutes.
Another important thing to consider as a dog owner is if the city you live in has placed a ban or restriction on what they consider the most aggressive dog breeds. Depending on where you live in West Virginia, this could be the case if you own a Rottweiler, Pit Bull or wolf-hybrid. It's best to check local city ordinances for the most current information on dog breed restrictions and bans.
What Makes a Dog Aggressive and How This May Apply to an Injury Claim
Examples of aggressive behavior may include:
- baring teeth;
- biting; and
Despite certain breeds getting labeled as aggressive, the reality is that any dog can bite. This is why most states have laws that address "dangerous" dogs.
West Virginia considers a dog to be dangerous if it's vicious and/or in the habit of biting or attacking. It is against the law to own, keep or harbor a dangerous dog. There is an exception to this for those who wish to keep such a dog for protection. But the owner must have a special license. Also, the dog has to be securely enclosed or restrained.
An owner may be liable for injuries caused by a dog bite or attack based on state laws. In general, liability applies when the owner allows his/her dog to run at large and as a result, it inflicts physical harm on someone.
But this doesn't prevent an injury claim if the bite occurs on a dog owner's property. If the dog had displayed dangerous conduct or bitten someone in the past, the owner may be liable. Also, if the owner was negligent in some way, he or she may be liable for damages.
To learn more about filing an injury claim if you (or someone you love) suffered a dog bite or attack, seek legal counsel in Clarksburg. An attorney can assess the circumstances and determine if there is a valid claim and how dog bite laws may apply. Call the Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 or contact us online.