3 Things You Need To Know About Maine Dog Bite Laws

Have you been bitten by a dog in Maine? You may have a personal injury lawsuit because of it. You should consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics and find out for sure. You should also be familiar with the most important points of Maine dog bite law, so you have an idea of what the law will and will not allow you to do to protect your interests in these instances. If you know these three things about Maine dog bite law before you call a personal injury attorney, your case will be off to a much stronger start.

1. Maine Is a Strict Liability State

This means that you are only protected by the law in the case of a dog bite if you are not on the property of the owner or keeper of the dog at the time of the bite. The law will not protect your interests in a dog bite situation even if you were on the property with permission. It certainly won't protect you if you were trespassing. You can only bring a lawsuit for a dog bite in Maine if you were off the property when you were bitten.

2. There Is No Reduction In Damages In Most Cases

Some states reduce the amount of a monetary award you would get for a dog bite in a personal injury lawsuit if you had any culpability in the bite. The amount of your settlement would be reduced by the degree of your responsibility for the bite. This is not the case in Maine. You will get the full value of any monetary award, regardless of your fault in the case. The only exception is if your fault in the case is greater than that of the dog's owner or keeper.

3. You May Be Able to Sue Animal Control

While the "at large" dog laws in Maine are weak and rarely enforced, it is a civil infraction for Animal Control officers to fail to do their jobs. They can be fined for it. This means you can also sue them if you were bitten by a stray dog that Animal Control knew about but did not isolate from the public.


Maine dog bite law is closer to what you see in county and city codes, rather than state statutes in most states. Knowing their intricacies will give you a strong idea of your rights. When you talk to your personal injury lawyer, you'll already be ahead of the game.

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