Kentucky has a strict liability rule when it comes to dog bites. Strict liability means that the dog owner is liable if a dog causes injury even if there is no history of aggression prior to the incident, and the dog owner took reasonable measures to keep the dog under control. Essentially, this means the dog bite victim does not have to prove that the owner was negligent o make a claim.
This is a significant departure from the usual personal injury requirements as described under Kentucky Statutes § 258.235(4). According to the website of the Sampson Law Firm in Louisville, the owner is automatically liable for dog bite injuries simply for owning the dog. This makes it easier for a dog bite victim to make a claim for personal injury or damage to livestock or other property.
The dog does not even have to actually bite a person for the law to take into effect. If the dog knocks down the mailman and the mailman hits his head on the curb, the dog owner is still liable for the head injury even though no bite occurred.
Kentucky law does not allow the usual defenses used by dog owners for dog bite claims such as provocation, or trespassing. However, state courts do follow the pure comparative negligence rule which does allow the defendant to reduce any damages awarded to the plaintiff by the degree of fault of the victim. For example, if the jury finds that the victim was trespassing when the bite occurred, it could find the victim 80% at fault. As such, if the jury awards $10,000 in damages, the defendant will only have to pay $2,000. If the victim was completely innocent, however, the damages has to be paid in full by the defendant.
It is relatively simple to file a dog bite lawsuit in Kentucky if you act quickly. If you were bitten or otherwise sustained serious injury because of a dog, you can hold its owner liable for your damages. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit is one year. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in Kentucky as soon as possible.