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Dog Bites

A Dog Bites Lawyer Who Knows New Hampshire Law

Dog owners in our state can be held financially responsible for the harm caused by their pets. In fact, New Hampshire provides special protections to dog bite victims, such as the right to hold owners strictly liable if certain conditions are met. Damages awarded to a victim may include medical expenses, compensation for scarring and disfigurement, lost wages, and more. Punitive damages may also be available in cases of truly reprehensible conduct by a dog owner.

Attorney John B. Kenison, Jr. is a dog bites lawyer in Manchester, NH. He understands the sensitive nature of these injuries - especially when they occur to the facial area or to a young victim. To learn more about Mr. Kenison’s proven track record in dog bite cases, please contact us.

Damages awarded to a victim may include medical expenses, compensation for scarring and disfigurement, lost wages, and more.
Strict Liability for Dog Owners

State statute imposes strict liability on a dog owner for harm caused by the animal’s “vicious or mischievous acts.” Strict liability can make it much easier to hold a dog owner responsible because the injured party does not have to prove that the owner acted negligently.

To understand the practical implications from the plaintiff’s perspective, assume you are attacked by a dog while walking down the sidewalk.

  • To prove your case under either strict liability or negligence theories, you must show that the dog belonged to the defendant and that the dog attacked and injured you.
  • Under a negligence theory, you must also show that the owner acted carelessly (by leaving the front gate open and allowing the dog to escape, for example).
  • Under a strict liability theory, you do not need to prove the owner acted carelessly. The law assumes this element of the case.

For this reason, strict liability is often referred to as “no-fault” liability. This term is not meant to suggest that no one was at fault. Rather, it means that the plaintiff is not required to prove exactly what the defendant did (or failed to do) that led to the dog attack.

The Owner’s Scope of Liability

A barking dog behind a fence
Damages recovered by a dog bite lawyer for a victim may include present and future medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, emotional anguish, and more.
New Hampshire also protects victims by allowing for strict liability in a wide range of factual circumstances. For example, liability can result even if the dog does not bite the victim. In an influential case that came before the state Supreme Court in 1996, the plaintiff was riding his bicycle when a small dog ran toward him. Fearing a bite, the plaintiff lost balance and sustained serious injuries in the fall. He was allowed to hold the dog owner strictly liable even though no bite occurred.

Other Responsible Parties

Strict liability does have its limits, however. The law does not allow dog bite victims to bring a claim if they were trespassing or committing a tort (like physically assaulting the dog’s owner) at the time of the bite.

Perhaps the most important limitation on strict liability is that it does not apply to anyone other than the dog’s owner. Fortunately, other responsible parties can be held responsible under theories of negligence and vicarious liability. At Kenison Law Office, we pursue dog bite claims against non-owners, including:

  • Property owners
  • Residential and commercial landlords
  • Parents of minors
  • Dog keepers (those with temporary custody of the animal)

We also identify the available homeowner insurance policies, since these are typically used to satisfy injury claims in dog bite cases.

Animals Are Not to Blame - Careless People Are

Everyone has a legal responsibility to act prudently in order to avoid putting other people in peril. If the owner of a dangerous animal caused you to suffer injury, reach out to our office today for assistance.

Client Reviews
"Attorney Kenison helped me a lot with my car accident insurance claim. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with an accident insurance claim." Jennifer
"John Kenison and his team are the best in what they do for a client. I had a bad motorcycle accident in 2014. When I called them they were there to help me thru the issues of this accident. John is a great lawyer that works hard for you and his staff is great to. Easy to talk too with any questions you have. He got the money I deserved with no stress and I would recommend anyone that needs a great lawyer to get in touch with them. True professionals !!" G. R.
"Our family came across Kenison law offices by chance. During a very emotional time, we found that we were in need of legal advice. We were dealing with a lot and both John and Lisa offered support and professionalism. Our case was long and drawn out and we never felt overwhelmed or alone." B.W.
"My husband was in a Motorcycle accident on June 11, 2014. He was seriously injured and spent several weeks in a trauma unit and 4 weeks in a rehab facility after several surgeries. I called John Kenison the day after the accident and he walked me through the difficult process of how to handle hospital bills and how to contact the Insurance companies involved. My husband was out of work for 4 months and Kenison Law was able to help us recover all loss wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. They are a caring law firm and are able to explain complex information during a vehicle difficult situation. I would highly recommend this law office." M. H.
"In the late summer of 2015, I had the misfortune of falling in a public place of business through no fault of my own. I was seriously injured, both my legs, which resulted in almost 6 months of modified bed rest and convalescing. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed with doctors; specialists; physical therapists and many other wonderful people. As if this was not daunting enough, it was told to me, in this time of utter chaos, I needed to engage an attorney. I have never had to hire an attorney..." R.W.W.