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Dog Bite Laws And Veterinarians

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If you have a dog, then you may be extremely careful when it comes to the canine being in contact with strangers or individuals who your dog is not directly familiar with. This is always a good idea to reduce the possibility that an accident will occur. If you are specifically concerned about dog bites, then you may have a few questions when it comes to certain professionals, like your vet who will undoubtedly come into contact with your canine.

Can A Vet Sue For Dog Bite Injuries?

If you live in a state with a strict dog bite liability statute, then you are responsible for any all injuries that are caused by your dog. This includes any bite inflicted on another person. However, this sort of liability may not apply to a professional who has the training and expertise to work with animals. Basically, under the law, your vet should have the knowledge to protect themselves from possible injuries. They also assume that an injury could occur as a consequence of their profession. 

There are specific legal arguments that are used when it comes to veterinarians and why they are not protected by the same strict liability laws that others are. Some courts have argued that the veterinarian takes possession of the canine during an examination and this becomes its owner. Owners obviously cannot sue themselves for damages. Other courts indicate that the act of completing a veterinary examination is an act of provocation. 

The only time that an animal doctor can hold an individual liable for an injury is when a dog's aggressive temperament is concealed and the dog then bites.

What About Other Personnel?

It makes sense that a veterinarian cannot sue a dog owner. However, there are many other people who work at animal clinics. Are these people able to sue for injuries? The good news is that individuals that include vet technicians, vet assistants, and other staff cannot sue you either, since they assume that same risks that the animal doctor does. However, if the vet does not take necessary precautions to protect employees, then they may be sued by staff if a dog bite occurs.

Also, it is the vet's job to educate the staff and to set safeguards and procedures that keep all staff members safe from injuries. If the animal doctor fails to do so, then they are liable for any injury that occurs. 

If you are taking your dog to the vet and are concerned about possible injuries or issues, then make sure to speak with your animal doctor beforehand. While you may not be liable for a bite injury, you should in good conscience try to prevent a dog bite. For more information, contact companies like Snyder & Wenner, P.C.