Dog Bite Law Louisiana: Everything You Need to Know


    Louisiana operates negligence liability clause this works against the dog owner thereby making him liable for injuries caused by his or her dog, herein, the injured should be able to prove that the dog owner was aware of the aggressive nature of his dog or failed to show reasonable care, the reasonable care here should be that of an ordinary reasonable man. The ordinary reasonable man should have known that the dog’s aggressive behavior would result in harm; the harm here could have been. In scenarios where it could be proved that the injured necessitated the attack by provoking the dog, the dog owner will be exonerated automatically. 

      In this article, we will look at very pertinent issues concerning dog bite laws in Louisiana; the first issue is the statute of limitations that mapped out deadlines for filing dog-related claims in Louisiana courts. We will also have a detailed look at the general provisions under Louisiana laws regarding dog bite claims, and more especially, how those myriads of provisions impact on victims and dog owners in Louisiana. Conclusively, we will discuss some defenses available for dog owners under Louisiana laws.   


     In Louisiana, a dog bite claim time limit, which is otherwise known as” statute of limitation” (the claims that usually come here are personal injury claim). Under the Louisiana statute of limitations, the victim has one year, which commences on the date of the injury. If the victim fails to bring his claim within this period, the court may strike out the suit for being time-barred.


Moreover, In Louisiana just like other states in the USA, the provisions cover not just injuries caused by animal bites, 

in Louisiana, such claims also take care of situations of injuries orchestrated by other animal behavior. A case study here is a situation where someone is working in his compound or in front of his compound, and his neighbor’s dog runs over his field and is knocked down when he tries to prevent the dog from wreaking havoc to his field and sustains an injury in the process. In the above scenario, even though the injury is not caused by a dog bite, the victim can seek damages under Louisiana’s dog bite statute, even if it is caused by dog scratch so long as he is severely scratched, be it a dog, cat or any other animal.

In the U.S., Louisiana has unique dog bite laws quite unusual from other states. This is due to the fact that it is strictly a negligence law. The onus lies on the injured in Louisiana to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner before he can recover damages. He has to show that the dog owner failed to give reasonable care or control over the animal. He must have failed to restrain the animal from causing injury. The unique manners, in which the injured person is going to demonstrate the facts of his case. In a situation where a dog is roaming about freely in his owner’s unfenced yard, the dog jumps out and attacks a passerby. Herein the victim may argue that the dog owner failed to take reasonable care by not fencing his yard because fencing the yard would ordinarily prevent the dog from jumping out, let alone attacking pedestrians.  


 A dog owner in Louisiana has some defenses available for him; he may raise several possible defenses. There are two of the most commonly-applied defenses in Louisiana courts; one is comparative negligence. The other is a provocation. 


This has to do with instances of is at fault for the injury that occurred, in Louisiana if it happens that the injured person is totally or partly at fault for his or her injuries, the court may reduce the damages that should ordinarily accrue to him a percentage that is equal to the percentage of faults resulting from his action. I will a give practical example of a man that visits his friend for a drink, the yard in question is fenced with a sign boldly written” beware of dog” as he enters he sees that the hut built for the dog also has the beware of dog sign well positioned, as he is waiting for his friend decides to play with the dog despite the sign on the gate, he pushes open the gate and approaches the house, but the dog jumps on him and bites him. At trial, it is decided that the injured is 50 percent responsible for his injury, and the dog owner finds the dog owner 50 percent responsible. The jury later decides that the total damages equal to $10,000. In applying Louisiana’s comparative fault rule to reduce the damages award by 50 percent, the amount of fault the injured is liable for. Herein, the injured will only be entitled to receive only 50 percent what of damages that is the extent of the dog owner’s liability. Hence the injured here is only entitled damages estimated at $ 5000.


Provocation is one of those defenses provided for a dog owner in most dog bite laws in almost all the states. The defense of provocation in Louisiana is very crucial because it is treated uniquely. Ordinarily, the dog owner is not liable if the injured person provoked the dog, but the difference here is that some states treat provocation as a case of comparative fault, whereas Louisiana sees it a complete bar to recovery from such claim. Hence, an injured person who is proved to have caused the animal or triggered the animal into causing injury will likely not or be unable to recover any damages in court. Conclusively, the victim herein is advised to take up the issue as quickly as pointed under the statute of limitation before it becomes status barred, and also the dog owner should get himself accustomed to the relevant provisions that offer defenses for a dog owner in Louisiana. 



Dr. Jason Williams

Dr. Jason Williams has served the veterinary field for over 26 years. After graduating from the Prestigious University of California--Davis. He has practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. His experience with Animals is immeasurable. Dr. Jason has found pleasure helping pet owners find the best information they'll ever need for their pets(companion). He currently has 20 pets and is dedicated to sharing from his wealth of experience to pet owners all over the world.

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