Dog Bite Injury: Dog Bite Case and Its Waiver in Contract
Dog bite injury in a dog bite case and its waiver in contract will act as a bar under an assumption of risk defense such as the vet rule.
For instance, you are a vet and a dog owner’s dog bites you while you are administering care to the dog in your clinic. The dog bite injury is barred since a vet assumes the risk as part of the occupational risks associated with rendering care to a dog. However, this risk may be waived through contract by the dog owner.
The courts have extended the vet rule for dog injuries to other occupations as a variant of the fireman’s rule. The fireman’s rule applies to firemen who as part of their occupation are injured by fires. Now this rule is applied to other occupations such as dog groomers and kennel operators.
If you are in an occupation which has inherent risks it is a good business practice to enter into service contracts which waive the risk. Notwithstanding that you may own a business insurance policy to cover such risk. In view of this you should consult your insurance agent and determine exactly what risks are covered and how to protect yourself from liabilities which may arise from your occupation which involve dogs.
Likewise, if you are entering into a service contract with a business providing a service to you which pertains to your dog you may refrain from entering into such a contract or strike out the provision. A contract that waives your right to sue for a dog bite injury is a not in your interest. In this instance you may want to engage another business for such services.
Generally, the concept of waiver of assumption of risk in contract applies to other occupational risks of harm