Roaming Off The Leash: Kentucky’s Dog Bite Laws
Visit any popular park in the city of Louisville and you will notice dog walking without a leash. Many owners hold the belief that their dog would never do anything to harm anyone, so they don’t need to walk their dog with any restraint. Most of the time, this is true but what most dog owners don’t realize is that according to Kentucky state law, a dog doesn’t even have to touch someone to be held responsible for an injury.
Kentucky revised statutes section 258.235 states that “any owner whose dog is found to have caused damaged to a person, livestock, or other property shall be responsible for that damage.” When most people read this statute, they think that this just covers a dog bites when it covers much more.
For example, you are walking your dog in a park without a leash and a person rides by on a bicycle. Your dog sees the bike and begins to chase it which causes the bicyclist to speed up and crash. In the state of Kentucky, the owner of the dog may be liable for any injuries to the bicyclist and damages to the bike. Also, an owner can be held responsible if their dog jumps up on someone and injures them by knocking them over. It doesn’t matter if the dog is being friendly, if it causes bodily harm to someone, you could be held responsible.
Many of the staff members at The Schafer Law Office have dogs at home. Our staff has also seen many cases that relate to injuries that have been caused by a dog. That is why The Schafer Law Office finds it extremely important to keep dogs restrained when you are walking them in public. Humans don’t know what dogs are thinking and you don’t want your happy-go-lucky family pet to accidentally cause injuries to a stranger or loved one. That is why it is important to always walk your dog on a leash, because you never know what will happen.