Dog and Animal Bites FAQ

Q: If the dog of my neighbor bit me on within my property, do I have a legal claim?

A: It will be based on the circumstances and you have to determine whether your home state have “strict liability” on the owners of the dogs. If there is, you may only have to show that the dog injured you. But if your home state does not support the strict liability law, you may need to prove that your neighbor knows or should have known of the ferocious tendencies of their dog before it bit you.

Q: Can an individual file for legal claims if he/she was bitten by a stray dog? If so, against whom?

A: The person bitten by a stray dog may not have legal claims, generally. The municipalities are basically not liable for the stray dogs. However, if the dog is kept at the local pound and was able to escape and bit you, then, you may file legal claims against the pound. If you can assert that the negligence of the pound caused your injury, you may be able to receive recovery damages.

Q: Can I have a legal claim if I go to a house to do some work and was bitten by the property-owner’s dog?

A: There are several cases where if you were asked into a house or a property to do some work for somebody, the individual who possesses the property has a legal liability to make reasonable efforts to safeguard your from harm or injury. However, if the person owns a pet, the person may be liable for keeping the pet away from you, or give you sufficient warning of the presence of an animal. Take note that you may file workers’ compensation claim against your employer. Since each case is unique, it is strongly recommended that you should find an experienced attorney to discuss and deliberate your case with him/her.

Q: Do I have a legal claim when a police dog bit me?

A: This will depend on the circumstances. The police cannot apply unreasonable effort in making arresting or performing any other duty. The inappropriate use of a police dog can involve unreasonable effort. If this is so, the police may need to compensate you for sustained injuries. It is recommended to contact an experienced attorney to discuss your situation.

Q: Can I file for workers’ compensation if a dog bit me while I was working?

A: If the injury happened during the period of your normal work, you may likely be able to file for workers’ compensation with your employer. Aside from the workers’ compensation claim, if the owner of the dog is not your employer, then, you may file for a legal claim against the owner of the dog.

Q: The city where I am living has a “leash law.” If the owner of the dog violates the law, is he/she liable for the injuries caused by his/her dog?

A: Basically, yes. When the owner violates the leash law and his/her dog hits or bites somebody, there are several courts that will hold that the owner was negligent, and that the injured individual is entitled to appropriate compensation from the owner of the dog. To know whether your city or state has leash law, you should find an experienced local attorney.

Q: Can a person be imprisoned for keeping a ferocious animal?

A: Yes, there were many situations where people were criminally convicted for knowingly owning harmful animals. There were also circumstances where owners who have been found guilty of murder if the attack of the animal killed the other person. The sentences range between severe fines and significant jail time.

Q: When the animal of somebody else kills my pet, do I have a legal claim?

A: If your pet is harmed or killed by another animal, you may be entitled to have “compensatory” damages. The compensation may include the purchase price of similar pet, the registration of pure bred animal, licensing, shots, and training costs. Aside from this, if you have spent additional amount for your pet, other than for the normal veterinary bills, you may be compensated for such amount. There are several circumstances, you may receive compensation for mental anguish, loss of the companionship of the pet, and punitive damages. Since the laws for each home state differs, check from your local attorney about this information.

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