Dog Bite

Have you or a loved one been bitten by another's dog?

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Dog Bite Attorney

A dog bite attorney represents you in court and pursues compensation for injuries suffered from an attack of a dog. These injuries can be from the dog biting, attacking or knocking you over. The attorney can better assure you that you will be getting the best possible compensation for your case. In cases where you rather come to a settlement agreement with the insurance companies rather than taking it to court, an attorney can assist you in receiving the best possible compensation amount there as well.

Choosing to represent yourself in cases regarding compensation provides a much larger risk in getting a low compensation amount if you are not familiar with all laws of your area. An attorney can navigate you through the process of a lawsuit if you do decide to take the matter to court as the laws of the states vary. There are three types of dog bite lawsuits including:

  • Aggressive Incident – This is where the dog intentionally bites or attacks the victim.
  • Non-Aggressive Incidents – This can happen when the dog is playing and gets too excited and may bite or jump on the victim without thinking and cause injury.
  • Dog on Dog Incident – This is where a dog is bitten or attacked by another dog.

What to do after a dog bites or attacks you

Right after you are bitten or attacked by a dog and have gotten medical attention, it is important to get started on documenting the case as soon as you can by filing a dog bite report, taking photos of your injures and the place it happened, details of witnesses, costs of medical bills and the contact information of the dog owner. The more evidence you can gather the more likely you are to receive a larger compensation.

Your lawyer will help you in collecting and presenting this information in court. The reason it is important to begin documenting the incident relatively soon is that a Statute of Limitations is set for each state. This means there is time-period in which you may be compensated for your incident and cannot be requested after the time-period is over. This is generally two to three years.

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Dog Bite Compensation

The average amount of compensation for a dog bite is also something that varies by state. Once the liability of the defendant can be found, the attorney hired by victim finds a way to collect this. Determining this amount is done by reviewing the following factors regarding the case:

Economic Damage

  • Lost income
  • Medical bills
  • Other expenses in result of incident

Non-Economic Damage

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality or enjoyment of life


If it can be proven that the dog’s owner had set out to cause harm, he/she will be punished by court.

Determining Dog bite Liability

Liability must be established before any compensation can be made. As laws in determining liability vary by state, there are two general types of a liability.

Strict Liability – This is where the owner of the dog is liable for all damages caused by their dog as long as the attack was no provoked.

One Bite Rule – This is where dog owners will only be considered liable for injuries caused by the dog if they had reason to believe that the dog was dangerous. (Breed, past behavior, etc.)

For example, when proving a dog bite claim, the victim must be able to show that the dog’s owner was aware of the dog’s dangerous behavior and breed. Another way the owner may be found liable is by the victim proving that the owner failed to act or take precaution based upon their knowledge of their dog. There are also several signs that show a dog is about to act out aggressively like it spreading out its legs and sticking out chest or making a low rumbly growl. If it can be proven the owner saw signs like these and refused to act, he/she can be found liable. However, if it can be proven that this dog was provoked to by victim, then the owner will not be liable.

Dog Bite Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the most common types of injuries related to a dog bite or attack?
The most common types of injuries after the event of a dog attack include lacerations and puncture wounds from the teeth of the animal, nerve damage because of these punctures, infections of these wounds and emotional damage from the experience. When speaking to a dog bite attorney, make sure you give as much information regarding your injury and the incident itself you can so that they can properly calculate how much compensation they believe you should be receiving.
How long does a dog bite case usually take to be settled?
For simple cases where the liability of the bite is clear, it can be around 4 months to a year before case is settled. If determining liability becomes more complicated it can be a much longer period before the case settles. Most personal injury cases however, never go to trial and can be worked out between the people involved, their insurance and their lawyers. Having an attorney can speed up the process while making sure it is done accurately. On top of that, having legal assistance in dog bite cases can ensure you that you are getting the best possible compensation for your injuries.
What if I am bitten by a stray dog?
It can be much harder to pursue a dog bite claim when the dog does not have an owner to collect the compensation from. However, in some cases you are still able to pursue a claim if there is a clear entity or person that can be held responsible legally. Having the legal assistance of an attorney present during the process of filing this claim can be of great benefit in a case like this where the situations becomes more complicated and the laws are unclear.
Can I make a claim if a police dog bites me?
Police cannot use unreasonable force while arresting someone or in any part of their duty. An attorney can help you in determining if that may have been the case in your situation. From there, they will be able to seek compensation from the police for your injuries. If it can be proven that unreasonable force was used upon you by the police dog, then the police could be required to compensate you for your injuries.

What a Dog Bite Attorney Can Do for You

It is not required to obtain legal support during a dog bite lawsuit, but you are far more likely to receive higher compensation and when an attorney is representing you. The process can also be handled more quickly and efficiently. Some things a dog bite attorney may do for you during this time include:

  • Seek compensation for the injuries of the victim
  • Negotiating in court and with insurance for higher compensation
  • Help dog owners recover damages in the case their dog is bitten by another.
  • Representing the dog owner during euthanasia

There are also a number of theories that your lawyer may pursue when looking into this incident that may strengthen your case, these include:

Are there responsibilities of the owner that can prevent these attacks from happening?

There are many laws regarding the responsibly of the dog owner that must be followed to avoid an attack. What these laws mean for you may depend on the type of animal you have and the state you are in living in as the laws vary. Generally, it is expected of the dog owner to keep their dog on a leash when walking in public to avoid these attacks, but leash laws are only legally enforced in two states, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Ensuring the dog is receiving their vaccinations is a very important responsibility of the dog owner to make sure diseases are not being spread by the animal. Another responsibility of the dog owner includes being aware of their dog’s breed and the Breed Specific Legislation laws of their state as some dogs are seen more dangerous than others and require more legislation and even banning in some areas. This is generally the case for dogs like pit bulls and rottweilers. It is very common today to see landlords not allowing those types of breeds into their homes to avoid any liability on their part.

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