Can I Sue A Landlord For A Dog Bite In New Hampshire?
New Hampshire is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. It means that dog owners are held strictly liable for bites caused by their dogs without the plaintiff needing to demonstrate that the dog owner was negligent.
However, in some cases, a victim of a dog bite can also sue a landlord. Below, we will review the situations in which a landlord could be held liable for a dog bite in New Hampshire.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Manchester or elsewhere in NH, do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable dog bite attorney to determine liability in your specific situation.
When Are Landlords Liable for Dog Bites?
In most dog bite cases, the owner of the dog that caused the injuries to another person is solely responsible for the resulting damages and losses. However, a landlord can also be held liable for dog bites under certain circumstances.
- The landlord knew about the danger
If a landlord knew that a particular dog was dangerous and that dog then bit someone, the landlord could be held responsible for the attack. The injured person could bring a lawsuit against the landlord if there is evidence that the landlord knew or should have known that the dog posed a danger to other people but failed to remove the animal from their property.
Note: You cannot sue a landlord for a dog bite if the landlord knew about the danger but could not remove the dog from the property.
- The landlord failed to remove the dog
If a landlord knows that a dog poses a danger to other tenants or visitors but fails to take reasonable steps to remove the animal from the property, the landlord could be sued for the resulting dog bite.
For example, if a tenant’s dog bites someone and the landlord becomes aware of the incident, they may have to take steps to remove the animal from their property.
In other words, if a landlord knowingly allows a dangerous or vicious dog to remain on their property, they may be held responsible for any subsequent injuries caused by that dog.
- The landlord harbored the dog
A landlord is “harboring” a dog when they care for the dog. If you can prove that the landlord is the de-facto owner of the dog, you may be able to sue him or her for your injuries and losses.
For example, if a landlord feeds and watches a dog when the owner is on vacation, they could be held liable for any injuries caused by that dog.
- The landlord is otherwise negligent
There are a wide range of situations in which a landlord could be held liable for a dog bite due to their own negligence even when they are not the animal’s owner.
For example, if a dog bite occurs due to the landlord’s failure to maintain the property, the injured victim could sue the landlord for negligent maintenance.
As you can see, whether or not you can sue a landlord for a dog bite depends on the circumstances of your incident. You need to consult with an experienced attorney to analyze your situation and determine liability in your case.
Schedule a consultation with our Manchester dog bite attorneys to discuss your particular situation. Contact the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC by calling 603-624-7200.