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Dogs have a reputation as friendly animals. But you may underestimate their propensity to bite. When a dog is startled, stressed or perceives a threat to their territory, they may feel provoked and snap at you. If this happens, it’s important to know what recourse you have.

Understanding Kentucky’s dog bite laws

Kentucky’s dog bite laws place strict liability on owners. If their dog bites you, they must take accountability for any damages you incur. A court may also deem the dog vicious, and the owner would then have to confine it to an enclosure. And if someone observes a dog biting you, statutes permit them to seize or kill the animal without fault.

Beyond damages, the owner could face civil or criminal penalties if the state already deemed the dog vicious. Owners violating this law may face fines of up to $200. And they could spend up to 60 days in jail, too.

Exceptions to the law

If your bite happened because you approached an aggressive dog, your actions may meet the threshold for comparative negligence. If they do, your claim will reduce by the percentage of fault you shoulder. Furthermore, if a dog bit you while you trespassed on its owner’s property, you would face liability for entering their land illegally. In this case, the owner would no longer hold responsibility for your damages.

Dog bites may seem minor and rare. Yet, they can prove serious when they happen. If a dog bites you, an attorney with personal injury experience can help you determine the appropriate steps to take.