In the United States more than 1,000 people per day visit the emergency room because of a dog bite. There are millions of dog bite victims every year and many of the victims require medical attention. Dogs have a reputation of being “man’s best friend,” but clearly, not all dogs are friendly.
The tremendous number of dog bite injuries that occur each year has led most states to create laws to determine who is legally responsible when a dog bite results in an injury.
Alaska dog bite laws are straight forward and to the point.
In Alaska, when a dog bites or attacks a person without provocation, the dog is considered “vicious.” What implication does this have? Any vicious or mad dog running at large may be lawfully killed by any person. So a dog-bite victim can lawfully kill his or her canine offender.
The liability of the dog owner for the injury is determined under Alaska’s common law negligence principles. Thus when a dog bites and is considered vicious, the owner may be legally responsible for the victim’s injuries. A reasonableness test is used to determine legal responsibility. Did the dog owner reasonably control his or her dog when the injuries occured? When an owner fails to reasonably control his or her dog and the dog then injures another person the owner is determined liable for the injuries.
If the dog bite victim proves the dog’s owner “knew or had reason to know” that the dog was likely dangerous than the owner may be subject to strict liability. Strict liability simply means absolute legal responsibility.
If you have been injured by a dog in Alaska, please browse our directory to find a qualified dog bite lawyer near you.