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Maryland considers change to dog bite injury laws

Many Maryland residents consider themselves to be dog lovers. Dogs can bring joy and companionship to families, but they can also bring some danger when the owners do not manage the dog properly. In these situations, neighboring children can be injured by the carelessness of the dog owner when the dog bites the child.

When children are injured by dog bite injuries, the injured child may have a negligence lawsuit to assert against the dog owner. These injuries, after all, can be devastating to a child and are no laughing matter as they can leave a child mauled and disfigured and with severe pain and suffering.

Nevertheless, the liability in a dog bite case is not always clear from the start. Different states have different laws when it comes to dog bite liability, with some focusing on the knowledge the owner had of the dog's dangerous propensities. Other states place more liability on owners of certain dog breeds.

Maryland's state laws could be in for a change, when it comes to liability for dog bite injuries. A bill is now proceeding through the State Senate that would change the liability standards, including changes that would ban liability based on a dog's breed.

It remains to be seen whether the proposed bill will pass, and what that will mean exactly for a negligence lawsuit based on a dog bite. In any event, individuals who suffer dog bite injuries should consult a personal injury attorney to determine what options they have for relief based on the facts of their particular case, and what types of damages may be available to compensate the individual for their injuries.

Source: The Daily Record, "Revisiting the dog bite liability voting session," Bryan P. Sears, Feb. 21, 2014

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