Dog Bites - Animal Attacks

The lawyers of Gilloon, Wright & Hamel, P.C. practice personal injury law involving dog bites and animal attacks all over the state of Iowa. Call or email us now and one of our experienced attorneys would be happy to answer any questions you have and talk about helping you with your Iowa dog bite or animal attack case.

Iowa Dog Owners Are Strictly Liable for Damages from Dog Attacks

Under Iowa law the owner of a dog is liable for all damages caused by the dog when it is attacking or attempting to bite a person. Iowa does not have a “one bite” rule. Iowa dog owners are liable for the damages caused by their dog’s first bite.

The only exception to this strict liability is when the injured party was doing an unlawful act which directly contributed to the injury from the dog.

Under Iowa law only the owner of the dog is strictly liable for the injuries caused by the dog. This frequently becomes an important issue because after a dog seriously injures a person, the potential defendants begin to argue that they were only watching or temporarily keeping the dog for someone else who is the actual owner. Iowa law does not necessarily require showing that anyone is the registered owner of the dog. Ownership of the dog can be shown by establishing that the defendant had the dog in his possession, and was harboring it on his premises as owners usually do with dogs.

Negligence Based Claims

In addition to strict liability for dog bites, Iowa law also provides for negligence based claims against dog owners. Such a claim would be based on the owner failing to act as a reasonable person in controlling their dog. A negligence claim could be based on situations where the dog knocked a person over and injured them rather than biting them. Sometimes auto accidents are caused by drivers trying to avoid a dog that was running free, and the attempt to avoid striking the dog leads to a collision.

Wild or Dangerous Animals

Iowa law also provides that the owner or keeper of a wild or dangerous animal is strictly liable for damages or injuries inflicted by the animal. This liability applies to injuries caused by wild animals ranging from tigers to deer to apes.

Damages Caused by Animals

Fortunately, many injuries caused by animals are minor and heal quickly. However, in some situations the physical or mental damages from an animal attack can be very significant. In a more serious case, the injured party would be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, past and future pain and suffering, past and future loss of whole body, and potentially other damages.

Call or email us now, and our lawyers would be happy to talk to you about your Iowa dog bite or animal attack case and answer your questions without charge or obligation.