Not all states in the US have strict liability laws in place. It is only in strict liability applicable US states where expert opinion on the dog bite matter can be relied on to address the often repeated argument to counter these laws: provocation. As such, a California dog bite attorney would also benefit from a clear understanding of how it can be used in order to reject or support arguments and questions that often come about in lawsuits.
Animal Behavior Questions Concerning Strict Liability
One key provision in a strict liability law pertains to the matter of provocation. For the plaintiff party to prevail, he or she should prove that his or her acts were not provocative per se. What constitutes provocation, however, is not straightforward. The term “provocation” is not legally defined. Whether it happened in any given circumstance differs from one case to the next. Therefore, an animal behaviorist’s opinion is often useful in determining whether or not provocation occurred.
A dog attack lawyer has given guidelines which, with some exceptions, might just be applied to most instances of dog bite where provocation is alleged. Usually, in most of these cases, assessment of the animal’s temperament should be made, alongside the circumstances around the incident and the way it reacted to the plaintiff’s behaviors directed to it. Provocation may occur if the dog responds right away with aggression because of the behaviors thereof. For instance, it is possible to make a case for provocation when one, and not a young kid, approaches a passive retriever, and with no invitation thrusts his or her face into this dog’s face. In this case, provocation may have occurred.
Despite the “fact pattern”, it is the entirety of the circumstances that surround the incident that should be carefully taken into account. Besides, other factors to take into account are the temperament as well as the past behavioral history of the dog.
Determination of any given dog’s temperament is made by many factors, some of which comprise breed tendencies, as well as internal and external influences which may have affected its behavior at the incident’s time. For instance, the hormonal status, medical condition as well as past social behavior of the dog in different contexts. Furthermore, findings on animal behavior science reveal that the behavior of a dog is contextually driven. Therefore, considering the context wherein the incident occurred becomes extremely important.