Meetings can be scheduled by appointment at various locations for the convenience of our clients. If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
Baltimore, MD
410.576.4287410.576.4287
Tysons Corner, VA
888.540.2599888.540.2599
By Appointment Only
Bethesda, MD
301.470.7201301.470.7201
Washington, DC
202.659.0555202.659.0555

Update: New Dog Bite Law Passed! Dog Owners Liable For “At Large” Dog Bites Regardless Of Breed

Posted on: April 8, 2014

In a previous blog post we wrote about a new dog bite law that has been progressing through the Maryland legislature. For years, the Maryland legislature has been attempting to pass legislation to change dog bite law following the Maryland Court of Appeals’ decision in Tracey v. Solesky. This time, it appears they have been successful. On April 3, 2014, the Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to the new dog bite law, which will now go to the governor to be signed.

Maryland dog bite law is an excellent example of how the law is always changing. A good personal injury attorney constantly stays abreast of new developments in the law so that they can better advocate for their clients.

How Will Maryland Dog Bite Law Change?

The new law, in effect, overturns the Court of Appeals’ decision in Tracey v. Solesky, retaining only Maryland dog bite law that existed prior to April 1, 2012. Although the law does not single out any specific breed of dog (as pit bulls were singled out in Solesky) the law will affect Maryland dog owners differently depending on whether or not their dog was on a leash at the time of the accident.
On a Leash – If a dog was leashed or otherwise confined, evidence that the dog caused personal injury or death will create a rebuttable presumption that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous or violent. The owner has the opportunity to appear in court and present evidence that they did not know the dog was dangerous or violent. Whether they in fact knew or not is an issue that will be decided by a Maryland jury. If the jury determines that they knew the dog was dangerous or violent, the owner will be liable for the injury or death.
Not on a Leash – The new law will impose strict liability on dog owners for damages for personal injury or death caused by a dog of any breed while “running at large” (not on a leash). Exceptions to this rule are if the person bitten by the dog was committing a crime, trespassing, or provoking the dog.

What Does The New Law Mean for Victims of Dog Bites?

This change in Maryland law is generally favorable to those who are injured or killed by dog bites. Before the new law, Maryland law held that pit bulls were an inherently dangerous breed. Because Maryland dog bite law no longer focuses on a specific breed, the protections for victims of dogs other than pit bulls have increased. Here are several of the major takeaways:

  • Victims of attacks by pit bulls who are leashed will receive slightly less protection than they would have prior to the new law. Although there is a presumption that the dog is dangerous, owners of pit bulls in these circumstances will have the opportunity to present evidence to a jury that they did not know their dog was dangerous.
  • For victims of attacks by unleashed pit bulls, there is no significant change. The new law continues to impose the strict liability provisions that previously existed.
  • Victims of dog attacks by any other breed where the dog is not on a leash will receive increased protection under Maryland law. There is strict liability for all bites where the dog is “running at large.”
  • Victims of dog attacks by any other breed where the dog is leashed or confined indoors will receive increased protection under the new law. If there is evidence that the dog caused a personal injury, there will be a presumption that the dog was dangerous.

See Our Related Blog Posts

Maryland Legislature Considers Changing Dog Bite Law

Maryland’s Court of Appeals Finds Pit Bulls are Inherently Dangerous

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Maryland?

Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
Connect with me

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
Next Reviews

Location: Tysons

Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
Next Reviews