Washington State’s “Dog Bite Statute” holds puppy owners strictly liable for damages due to injuries inflicted by their particular dogs. The phrase “strictly liable” ensures that the dog owner is liable no matter whether the owner knew in regards to the dog’s dangerous propensities and no matter whether the owner did anything at all wrong. To impose strict liability beneath the law, you simply must fulfill the elements of the statute.
But there is another basis to carry a dog owner accountable for damages caused by canine. In Washington a dog owner can be held liable for damages beneath the common law. In this chapter My partner and i explain what “common law” means and how a dog owner can nevertheless be obligated to pay damages even when the terms of the particular “Dog Bite Statute” can not be met.
What Is “Common Law”?
Inside our system of government, laws usually are created in two techniques. The first way will be when elected representatives draft a law and enact it. At hawaii level, this body of representatives is named the “legislature. ” The Washington express legislature creates laws called “statutes. ” At the area or city level, our bodies is often called the “city council” plus it can create laws called “ordinances. ” At the state level these laws could be called “codes. ” The “Dog Bite Statute” is among a law created from the Washington state legislature.
The next way that laws may be created is through the particular courts. This is also referred to as “judge-made law” or a lot more accurately, the “common legislation. ” Essentially, the “common law” identifies a body of law which is created by the selections or opinions of most judges. These judge-made decisions has to be followed and enforced from the lower courts, often referred to as trial courts. A leading judge-made law is often referred to as “precedent” because a lower court must conform to the decision and furthermore enforce it in some other cases with similar reality patterns.
The courts are only permitted to choose issues of law good narrow set of information before it. The courts cannot make law according to hypothetical facts. This ensures that the common law usually takes many years to produce. As a result, the normal law may be created in the patch-work fashion. At instances, seemingly inconsistent or contradictory laws may be reached by two different courts if the facts of the circumstance are nearly identical or perhaps similar. The application with the common law can be a lesser amount of predictable since the facts giving rise for the laws may be a bit different in subsequent situations. The existence of a fresh fact or the omission of your small fact in a fresh case can bring about new exceptions or changes inside the common law addressing that particular issue.