Who Is At Fault For A Dog Bite Incident At A Restaurant?

When you are eating at a restaurant, the last thing you might expect is for a dog to start biting you. However, this is possible in many restaurants if they are allowing dogs or not enforcing rules that prohibit dogs. If someone brings an aggressive dog to a restaurant, you might wonder which party would be responsible for your injuries.

Owner Liability

Some states have strict liability when it comes to dog bites. If a dog bites someone, the owner will be considered liable immediately. Also, many states have the "one bite" rule for dog bites. Even for states that do not have strict liability, the owner may be liable if they knew that their dog would be dangerous.

Restaurant Liability 

All restaurants are required to allow service dogs on their properties. However, whether a restaurant is required to allow other types of dogs depends on if the restaurant is based on state law.

Some states do not allow dogs in a restaurant at all, some states only allow dogs to be in an outside area, and some states leave it entirely up to the discretion of the restaurant owner. Oftentimes, restaurants need to put up barriers to protect the public dogs and must post signs warning other customers such as:

  • Companion dogs allowed in certain areas
  • Only service dogs allowed
  • Only dogs vaccinated against rabies allowed

If the restaurant does not show due care and you are bitten by a dog, a dog bite attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement for you with the restaurant.

Why You Need a Dog Bite Attorney

A dog bite case can be complicated. For instance, you might be accused of having provoked the dog. You might claim that you weren't even aware of the dog and that the dog is part of a very aggressive breed that should have never been allowed in the restaurant.

The One Bite Rule

An owner of a dog can always be held liable for a dog bite, especially in a restaurant. Oftentimes, dogs engage in aggression based on fear. If a dog is in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar sounds, they may be more likely to bite out of fear.

However, if your personal injury attorney is able to uncover another incident where the dog bit someone or showed aggression, this can be used as evidence that the dog should have been considered dangerous and the owner might then be held liable. To learn more, contact a dog bite attorney