Anyone who has ever seen a police dog in action knows that they can be extremely effective and dangerous. So what happens when a police dog attacks an innocent citizen? As one man recently discovered, victims of police dog bites often have strong claims for compensation.
This man received a potentially permanent hamstring injury after a police dog bit his leg. At the time, the man was chasing a car thief on his property – essentially helping the police capture a suspect and trying to prevent a theft. Nevertheless, a massive dog attacked him with a maneuver known as the “bite and hold.”
As the name indicates, “bite and hold” training causes dogs to restrain suspects by biting them. This means that the dogs bite suspects on a regular basis. This practice is controversial because many police forces use a far less dangerous but equally effective technique: “bark and hold.” Dogs trained to “bark and hold” use a less aggressive approach in which the dogs intimidate suspects into staying put. This technique leads to far fewer mistaken injuries.
The victim in this case filed a lawsuit last week and received a quick settlement from the police department. Of course, every police department is subject to different laws and some areas exempt police forces from civil liability for these kinds of dangerous errors. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help victims determine their options after a dog bite.
Source: CTV News, “Victim of unprovoked dog bite sues Mounties,” Jonathan Woodward, Mar. 8, 2013