can i sue for a dog bite?

short: my son 5 yrs. bit at park by one of 8 dogs being walked on 8 ft. leashes! not the first time this has happend one of those 8 dogs has bit two other people in my home (didnt report those bites) she paid for the dr. on duty bill and offered to buy me food (i declined the food) i am sure those dogs have bit others in the neighborhood! everyone is telling me to sue her home owners insurance but i feel a little uncomfortable about sueing someone! i just dont see how i have a case and i am wondering if i do! has this happend to anyone else and what did you do?

for those of you who dont understand how he was bit by dogs on leashes well the leashes are about 8 ft. long and the lady is walking 8 dogs which are all over the place!

14 Answers

  • Civil court (small claims) is where you would go, you do not need a lawyer. Check the limit (some states as high as $1,200). You will have all your costs covered and can also get extra for the “trauma”. You can hire a lawyer if you have the resources, but remember you can’t get blood from a turnip, so it may not be worth the extra expense and time.

    MOST importantly however is to get your child proper testing and vaccination for rabies (about $10 from the Health Department) if needed… this is a REAL threat. It is standard procedure after a bite that breaks the skin, no matter how small. Washing and disinfectant are a start, but not enough. If the test is positive, the child must start treatment within 3 days or it will most likely be fatal. Don’t wait for symptoms or think it will be obvious. As a virus, complications can manifest from the smallest break in the skin.

    Report it to Animal Control immediately! You will need THEM to verify that the dog’s rabies shot was still viable. Do not count on the owners records as they can be fraudulent. Many dogs, means many papers can be switched as needed if any dogs are similar enough.

    They will quarantine the dog and maybe put it down if you can prove that that particular dog has bitten before. You should also make claims against the other dogs that bit, even though it is after the fact. The owner may also simply be required to muzzle that dog when taken out in public and to have to keep it fully enclosed on the premises.

    The owner will be fined for all offenses (incidents, license, vaccinations out of date, etc.) and be monitored or have the dogs permanently removed.

    Most locales have limits as to how many dogs you are allowed by law, before having to have a valid Kennel Permit. Six is most common, so these people may be breaking that regulation also.

    The standard leash law allows only 6 feet. Check your local regs to be sure.

    Though a dog is on a leash, it does not invalidate a dog/human biting incident. Particularly if the leash was not within legal limits. It is the responsibility of the handler (not just the legal owner) to have control of the animal at all times.

    Research your local Municipal Code (County if out of city limits) on line for most thorough info. Your local Animal Control also has the information (though not always accurate dependent on who you speak to) but do ask when you report it.

    People that are irresponsible pet owners make it hard for the rest of us to enjoy our lives with our pets. They are also a danger to society.

    May I also recommend “puppy therapy” (play time with very young puppies that don’t nip) for your son asap so that he will get over the trauma and re-establish a “healthy respect” for dogs. It would be a sad price for him to pay if he never got over it. Any local breeder or dog club can help with this if you explain why.

    Please, take action immediately.

    Also check the premier on line legal site for more information.

  • Sue For Dog Bite

  • You could sue, but the expense of hiring a lawyer and all the hoops you’d have to jump through probably won’t be worth it. The only way you’d really have a case is if you could prove that the same dog that bit your son bit someone else, and even then you’d have to prove that the owner was somehow negligent (and I can guarantee you her lawyer is going to try and show your son did something to “provoke” the dog). Your best bet is to keep your son away from those dogs and pass the word throughout your neighborhood. If the dogs keep biting other people, then you could band together with the other victims and sue.

  • The “dr on duty” should report the animal bite to the health dept as required.

    You would need an attorney to sue, and the case might just plain be too small to bother with — depends on damages. If the animal broke free of its leash and permanently maimed or killed your kid, you have a case you need to pursue.

    Defense would likely claim you didn’t keep your kid away from the dogs, and they were on leashes as required — you do have a requirement of due care, you have to do what you can to prevent this sort of thing, and it is clear from your description that you did not do that.

    You can talk to a lawyer, who is the only person who can advise you on such things, but it is not likely to be worth your time, money and aggro to pursue. Take your kids to a different park or do something more entertaining with them and put this behind you.

  • I’m doing basic obedience right now. My trainer hasn’t once handled my dog. He has shown me how to handle my dog by using his own dog but that’s about it. The reasoning is that I need to learn how to do these basic corrections and what not myself. Learn more

    I have never considered sending my dog away for training. I guess I haven’t found that much of a problem with him to even think about it.

    Again, it may also have to do with the level of training you are looking for etc. No idea lol. I’m not a trainer. I think a first time dog owner needs to learn simple commands and how to handle their dog themselves as well.


    No they were tresspassing. That’s why the freakin dog is there, to keep intruders out. If a person is stupid enough to break into a house where there is a dog, they deserve to get bitten.

  • How did your son get bit by a dog on a leash?

    Did he get near the dogs?

    You can sue her insurance but I’m sure they will wonder how it’s her fault if the animals were on a leash? What was your son doing, why was he near the dogs?

  • Dog bites need to be reported to the local health department. They will make sure that the dog has its vaccines. Suing is your option.

  • If it wasn’t the 1st time, sue her pants off.

    Dog owners whose dog bites someone get off the 1st time, but if it has happened more than once, you are almost guaranteed a win!!

    Good luck

  • The dogs were on a leash. You knew the dogs have a history of biting and yet you didn’t state what you’ve done to keep your son away from the biting dogs that were in fact on a leash.

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