If you have been invited onto the property of another then, without thinking, you probably assume the premises is safe. You probably wouldn’t worry about whether the roof would collapse on you or that you will fall through the floor. But the fact of the matter is that property owners oftentimes fail to keep their premises safe for invitees, even though they have a legal duty to do so.

While traditional premises liability claims involve icy sidewalks, slip-and-fall and other unsafe property conditions, animal attacks, such as dog bites, may also be included. Under Louisiana law, an animal owner may be held liable for injuries caused by an animal attack if he or she knew, or should have known, that the animal’s behavior would cause damage. In order to impose liability, it also must be shown that the damage could have been prevented if the owner had only exercised reasonable care.

Proving that an owner knew or should have known that the animal exhibited dangerous behavior can be difficult. So, too, can showing that reasonable care would have prevented the attack. However, with a little digging, it may be possible to uncover a history of violent behavior. If you have been hurt by an animal attack, then you owe it to yourself to look into the matter.

Why? Because satisfying the statutory requirements may mean that you can recover compensation for your damages. Such a recovery may include money to help cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. To increase your chances of succeeding on a claim, you may want to consider acquiring legal assistance. A qualified attorney can help identify potential defenses to the claim and prepare to combat them in a way that is persuasive to the court and the jury.

Source: FindLaw, “Dog Bites and Animal Attack Overview,” accessed on Nov. 5, 2016