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Can You Sue for an Intentional Dog Attack?

By Kaufman and Stigger on

In Kentucky, if your dog attacks someone and injures them or kills them, you are on the hook for all damages as the owner of the dog. In most of these cases, the homeowner’s insurance for the dog owner will pay those damages. But what if the attack was intentional by the dog owner?

Man Dies after Owner Tells Dog to Attack

In a horrific set of events, a man died after an attack from a pit bull. Police responded to the scene and had to shoot the dog to get him to stop attacking the man. Police say that they saw the woman on the man hitting him with her fists, and the dog mauling him.

Another man called 911, and he told police that he heard her giving commands to the dog to attack. Despite attempts of life-saving measures by first responders, the man died at the scene. Police charged the woman with murder.

Liability for Intentional Injury

When someone intentionally hits or assaults someone, the victim can sue them and attempt to get compensation for their injuries. This falls under the jurisdiction of civil court and has nothing to do with the attacker’s criminal charges. The civil claim is called an intentional tort which differs from a tort that is based on negligence.

In an intentional tort, the victim claims that the attacker injured them intentionally, and they suffered medical and financial losses from the attack. In Kentucky, if the victim can prove that the attacker committed the attack with malice, then he or she can get punitive damages which usually greatly increases the amount a person would get.

If someone instructs their dog to attack you, is it considered an intentional tort? The reality is that you don’t want it to be considered intentional.

Insurance Issues

In Kentucky, insurance policies can’t payout for intentional physical attacks. While there are exceptions, intentionally mauling someone is not one of those exceptions. So, if the court found that the attacker purposefully commanded their dog to attack, then the insurance company will be precluded by Kentucky public policy in paying out for injuries.

Why? Simply because insurance covers accidents, not intentional incidents.

How Do I Get Paid for My Injuries?

It all comes down to whether the court considers the attack as intentional. If so, then the insurance company might not pay compensation. If the court determines that the dog owner’s commands to attack didn’t constitute an intentional attack, then the homeowner’s insurance company will have to pay for your injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Dog attacks are a painful and traumatic experience that can leave physical and emotional scars. Bite victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes. The insurance company agents have years of experience and are good at their job which is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field. Talk to someone you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law.

The attorneys at Kaufman &  Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.

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