dog attack, lawsuit

dog attack, lawsuit

This is a discussion on dog attack, lawsuit within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here is a scenario: You are a licensed carrier out for a walk on your own, maybe in a neighborhood park or on a hiking ...

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Thread: dog attack, lawsuit

  1. #1
    New Member Array jzattack's Avatar
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    dog attack, lawsuit

    Here is a scenario:

    You are a licensed carrier out for a walk on your own, maybe in a neighborhood park or on a hiking trail. You come across a huge, vicious dog (such as a pit bull) without a leash on, and running at you, obviously wanting to take a chunk out of you. You pull your weapon, fire a shot into the dog, it goes down.

    Can the owner of the dog sue you for damages regardless of whether the dog dies or not?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array CCWFlaRuger's Avatar
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    IMO, I'll take my chances, dogs are more dangerous than a gun most times, but that is my opinion. Legally, that is going to change from state to state, so, you would be best to talk to local lawyers/LEO for a direct certain answer.

    No matter what the circumstances, you are going to attract alot of heat you don't want if you open fire in a residential area, so, you may want to consider some OC spray as an alternative... less attention, and you have just spared the life of someones best friend.

    Regardless, the bullet should be your last choice, and as much as it hurts to say it, I think I'd rather get bitten first and then fire on a dog, then take the chance, avoid a few stiches and kill what could be a misunderstood gesture. Especially since I know that I cannot read a dog's mind.

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  3. #3
    Member Array Jbabbler's Avatar
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    People can and do sue for anything. Make your decisions accordingly.

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    Most likely, yes, you will be sued. The law varies by state. Discharge the weapon, and it is anybody's guess on how a lawsuit would turn out.

    Keep in mind your fear must be reasonable. Carrying a weapon does not guarantee that you will never be hurt. In Virginia the risk of injury must be severe bodily harm.

    Are you willing to risk losing everything you own and potentially, future income to avoid any injury, regardless of degree?

    Evaluate the threat and make a reasonable judgement.

  5. #5
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    Interesting questions for the FL Castle Doctrine folks. Since we are allowed to defend ourselves from threats anywhere we have a legal right to be...and we are found to be innocent of any charges because of the shooting, then it is my understanding that one cannot be sued.
    Any other opinions from the FL folks?
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I've been bitten, if I think it's going to happen again, I'm going to shoot the dog. Dog should have been on a leash and monitored by it's owner.
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    Member Array charlie1826's Avatar
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    I've never understood the legal issues in situations like this. Unless you are on that dog owner's property then they are violating leash laws (I've never lived in an area that doesn't have leash laws), and dog attacks are a serious threat. I have been in a situation in a public area where I almost had to stab a dog (didn't have a gun at the time so I carried a knife), luckily though my dogs showed that dog the error of his ways and me and the other owner had an argument and went our seperate ways.
    I love dogs, I have always had dogs and I always will, so I would hate to have to put one down. I think the best option for dog attacks would be OC spray. My reasoning is that OC, from what I have heard (no firsthand experience), is effective enough to stop them most of the time, or at least give you time to get away. Also a dog charging at you does not necessarily want to attack you, and most dog owners will tell you that. It is definitely scary to have a strange dog coming at you but unless it is foaming from the mouth its hard to tell if he is just trying to scare you, if he wants to play, or if he wants your head. A lot of times dogs will charge at a percieved threat and stop short to scare them away from their area.
    Even if it is a real attack and you are justified in your actions, expect retaliation from the owner. Every dog is someone's best friend.

  8. #8
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    First of all, people can sue you for just about anything they wish. Whether they win or not is a whole other thing. Unlike a human, dogs are considered personal property so if it was a justifiable defensive shooting incident, they likely won't get a dime. As a matter of fact, you could probably sue the owner for the emotional stress he caused you by not keeping control of his dog if there were any leash laws violated.

    Also, you have the absolute right to defend yourself from a legitimate lethal attack whether it's a human or other animal attacking you. There is enough documented cases where the first attack from a pit bull has been a lethal attack so you do have that going for your defense. And before anyone gets their drawers in a wad, the same is true for several other breeds. But you can't deny the fact the pit bull has reputation as both a vicious dog and a dog capable of killing adults. Certainly capable of severely maiming a person which also justifies lethal force.
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    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie1826 View Post
    I love dogs, I have always had dogs and I always will, so I would hate to have to put one down. I think the best option for dog attacks would be OC spray. My reasoning is that OC, from what I have heard (no firsthand experience), is effective enough to stop them most of the time, or at least give you time to get away.
    The only problem I have with OC spray is it may stop the attack...this time. What about next time? Perhaps a child next time will be the victim of this well loved dog that no one wants to see get hurt.


    Quote Originally Posted by charlie1826 View Post
    Also a dog charging at you does not necessarily want to attack you, and most dog owners will tell you that. It is definitely scary to have a strange dog coming at you but unless it is foaming from the mouth its hard to tell if he is just trying to scare you, if he wants to play, or if he wants your head.
    So am I supposed to wait and see which option the dog would choose? If the owner lets his dog off the leash then he has broken the law and his dog may take the wrath for this mistake. Then the SOB wants to sue you for shooting the dog. I'm sick of people who think their dogs should just run free.
    I've seen people actually laugh when their dogs run up to people because the people get a scared look on their face not knowing whether it will bite or not. Real funny and they think their dogs are so cute and they love them soooo much.

    I don't like loose dogs. I don't want loose dogs running up to me for any reason.

    Leash law...use it or expect the worst for your dog.
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  10. #10
    Member Array EPIC SCUMBAG's Avatar
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    I would say if I shot a dog attacking me the shooting would be justified, especially if the dog is not on a leash as a leash law requires. If the dog was leashed or kept inside the fence properly I wouldn't have resorted to shooting the dog in the first place because the dog attack wouldn't have ever occurred. My 2 cents. I guess you can use that as your defense in your counter sue. But, then again I'm not a lawyer.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Depends on state laws,I(n Texas it's legal,but if you miss you are responsible for collateral damage if you happen to miss and hit something else
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Depends on state laws,I(n Texas it's legal,but if you miss you are responsible for collateral damage if you happen to miss and hit something else
    I forgot to mention that....

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    I'ld close this thread and let it die quickly.
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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    I'm sure they COULD sue you, but I kinda doubt that they would win. I would argue that, in Arkansas (and a lot of states) it's 100% legal to shoot a dog that is attacking livestock. Isn't a human worth as much as a chicken/cow/goat? Let the jury chew on that a while...

    I'm not easily scared by dogs, so if I felt the need to shoot one in defense I would KNOW that I made the right decision. If the owner didn't SEE the shot, then how are they gonna sue you anyway? Keep your dang mouth shut. Cops don't investigate dead dogs.
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  15. #15
    Member Array charlie1826's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig35seven View Post
    The only problem I have with OC spray is it may stop the attack...this time. What about next time? Perhaps a child next time will be the victim of this well loved dog that no one wants to see get hurt.




    So am I supposed to wait and see which option the dog would choose? If the owner lets his dog off the leash then he has broken the law and his dog may take the wrath for this mistake. Then the SOB wants to sue you for shooting the dog. I'm sick of people who think their dogs should just run free.
    I've seen people actually laugh when their dogs run up to people because the people get a scared look on their face not knowing whether it will bite or not. Real funny and they think their dogs are so cute and they love them soooo much.

    I don't like loose dogs. I don't want loose dogs running up to me for any reason.

    Leash law...use it or expect the worst for your dog.
    I did forget that you should call animal control and/or talk to the owner, if there is one.
    In response to your second part, I wasn't saying that you shouldn't counter the threat I merely pointing out why I think having a non lethal option is a good thing. If you must though definitely defend yourself everytime. If you have OC spray and can stop the dog then use it but if you truly think the dog is going to attack and all you have is your gun then do what you need to.
    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

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