Is It True That You Can't Sue For A Dog Bite If You Work In A Vet's Office?
Going to the vet can be as anxiety inducing for dogs as going to the dentist often is for their human owners. The stress from the visit can cause even the gentlest dog to become agitated enough to bite its handlers. Unfortunately, working as a vet or an assistant can make it impossible for you to collect compensation for your injuries since the court will assume you knew the dangers associated with working around animals and willingly took the risk. However, there are two exceptions that may provide a way for you to get money for a dog bite.
The Owner Concealed the Dog's Dangerous Behavior
One way a vet or an assistant may be able to sue the dog's owner for damages is if the owner knew the dog was dangerous and didn't warn the vet. While it's true veterinarians and people who work for them do assume the risk of being injured by dogs, owners also have a duty to inform vets if their dogs are known to have violent tendencies.
For instance, a person brings a dog to the vet that the vet has never treated previously. In the examination room, the dog viciously bites the doctor. If the owner knew the dog had a propensity for biting and didn't warn the vet, the owner could be held liable for damages. This is particularly true if the dog had been cited previously for biting.
Of course, it would be incumbent on the vet to prove the owner knew about the dog's aggressive behavior, which can be done by producing police report indicating previous biting incidents involving the dog or talking to the person's neighbors who may be able to testify about the dog's behavior.
The Vet Failed to Adequately Protect Workers
Employees of the vet may be able to sue the doctor for damages if the veterinarian put them at unnecessary risk of being bitten by dogs in their care. Going back to the previous example, if the vet hands the dog over to an employee without warning the person about the dog's behavior, he or she can be held liable when the dog bites the employee.
Likewise, a veterinarian may become liable for damages if he or she doesn't properly screen dogs or allows dogs known to be violent in the practice without warning employees about the danger.
Because of the assumption of risk associated with working in a place that treats animals, dog bite cases involving veterinarians and their assistants can be difficult to win. It's best to consult with an attorney who can advise you on the best way to handle your case and improve your chances of resolving it in your favor. To learn more, contact a law firm like Law Office of Daniel E Goodman, LLC.