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How Difficult Is Suing Someone for a Dog Bite - morgan and morgan
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How Difficult Is Suing Someone for a Dog Bite?

How Difficult Is Suing Someone for a Dog Bite?

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How Difficult Is Suing Someone for a Dog Bite?

They may be man’s best friend, but dogs can also pose a serious threat in certain situations. And if you’ve ever been bitten or attacked by a should-be-friendly animal, you know just how scary and traumatizing it can be. This may lead you to ask, “How difficult is suing someone for dog bites?”

After an attack, it helps to know and understand your rights and options. Suing someone because of a dog bite is not right for every situation, but it may be a choice you should consider.

Schedule a free case evaluation if you want to meet with a Morgan & Morgan attorney to discuss your situation in closer detail. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can examine the facts of your case and help you explore your legal options.

How Often Do Dog Attacks Happen? 

Before you can find the answer to “How difficult is suing someone for dog bites?” it helps to understand how common this situation is. First, you should know that more than 48 million households in the United States own at least one dog. 

And while that is a staggering number, it should come as no surprise. For the most part, dogs are fun, loyal, and good for the soul. However, they can be dangerous in certain conditions and can even cause serious injuries.

According to the CDC, there are more than 800,000 cases of dog bites requiring medical attention each year. Of those cases, more than 300,000 require treatment in a hospital. So if a dog has attacked you, it may help to know that you aren’t alone. 

Unfortunately, around half of all dog bite victims are children. In fact, dog bites are a bigger health problem for young children than whooping cough, mumps, and measles combined. They happen more often than playground injuries or bike accidents. 

In other words, dog bites are a bigger problem than you may even realize. And if you or a loved one has become a victim, no one would blame you for exploring all of your legal options. 

As always, if you need help from a qualified attorney, you can turn to the experts at Morgan & Morgan. We can help you get the compensation you deserve from the liable party so that you can focus on your recovery.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Dog Bite? 

Unfortunately, some accidents are unavoidable — dog attacks are no exception to this rule. But there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your children whenever you are exposed to a potentially dangerous situation. 

Learning to be safe around pets is a good idea for everyone, especially children. That’s why we recommend these safety steps for all of our clients:

  • Always ask the owner if you can pet a dog before approaching
  • Approach new dogs slowly
  • Initiate contact by slowly presenting the backside of your hand for the dog to smell
  • Teach your children never to bark or growl at a canine
  • Remember that any dog has the potential to bite
  • Teach your children to tell you whenever they see a loose dog in the area
  • Never disturb a dog that is eating or drinking
  • If you’re out walking, consider crossing the street to avoid unfamiliar dogs
  • Never chase a dog that is trying to walk or run away from you

You or your children don’t need to fear every dog you see. But a healthy appreciation for potential danger is a smart way to keep everyone safe. As a parent or guardian of a child, remember to never leave the child alone with an animal, especially if it’s an animal you are unfamiliar with. 

What Are the Common Injuries From a Dog Bite?

In addition to asking, “how difficult is suing someone for dog bites?” you may also wonder how serious an injury a dog bite can be. There is a range of common injuries that result from a dog attack. Here are a few that you or a loved one may have experienced:

Broken Bones

When you think of a dog attack, you may envision cuts and gashes. But a dog’s jaw is actually powerful enough to break bones on top of everything else. Broken bones can also occur as the result of a dog pushing you to the ground.


Lacerations are one of the most common results of a dog attack. These can range in severity from a minor cut to a gash deep enough to penetrate the skin, muscle, and even nerves. 

Facial Injuries

When a dog attacks, it often goes for the face. Injuries to the lips, cheeks, and nose are the most common result. 


Unfortunately, another common result of a dog attack is rabies. You should always seek medical attention immediately after an attack, even if you don’t believe the injuries are serious. Symptoms of rabies may not appear for several days, but the sooner you seek treatment, the better. 

Of course, this is just a brief overview of the physical trauma you might experience in a dog attack. You could also face serious emotional and mental trauma as well. In some cases, it’s even possible for a person — especially children — to develop PTSD after an attack. 

How Do You Determine Who Is at Fault for a Dog Bite? 

If you are still wondering how difficult is suing someone for dog bites, the answer can be a bit complicated. The first step is determining who is at fault for the dog bite. Although you may assume the person to blame is the animal’s owner, that is not always the case. 

In some states, especially those with strict liability laws, the owner is immediately liable for any injuries caused by their pet — especially if there were previous signs that the dog might eventually attack someone. However, some other details can impact this, including:

  • Whether you provoked the animal or hold any blame for the accident
  • Whether you were trespassing on the owner’s property
  • Whether the attack took place at a negligent animal care facility

If you are not sure who is to blame for your injuries after an attack, that means it’s time to consult with an attorney. Morgan & Morgan is here to help you sort through the details and evaluate your options during this challenging time. 

Is It Worth the Effort to Sue for a Dog Bite? 

As we mentioned, the answer to “How difficult is suing someone for dog bites?” is complicated. But if you are considering a lawsuit, there are some details you should consider. 

First of all, even if your injuries are relatively minor, you do have the right to pursue legal action for compensation. If an owner or animal care facility was negligent, you deserve to be compensated for the trauma you experienced. At the very least, you may want to consider taking the case to small claims court. 

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Morgan & Morgan

  • How Much Can I Expect from a Dog Bite Lawsuit?

    Naturally, every dog bite case is unique. So we won’t be able to give you a specific idea of what you can expect until we’ve taken a look at the specific details. However, at the very least, you should expect compensation for the medical bills that resulted from the incident. 

  • What Steps Do I Have to Take to Sue for a Dog Bite?

    Of course, your first priority after a dog bite should be seeking the medical attention you require. But if you can, try to get information about both the dog and its owner before leaving the scene. 

    This can be especially difficult if you are in shock or unaware of the extent of your injury until you get home to check and clean your wound, etc. It’s best to get all of the contact information right away — even if you think the damage is minimal — in case you need it later on.

    From there, contact an attorney from Morgan & Morgan. We’ll remind you to do things such as photographing the injury, contacting the local authorities, and getting on top of all of the details you need to file a lawsuit. 

  • What if I’m Friends With the Owner of the Dog?

    It can be difficult to sue a dog owner if they are a close friend or loved one. Keep in mind that you have other options for compensation after a dog attack, including an insurance claim. Our team can help you decide the best course of action.

  • Is There a Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites?

    Yes, you should know that there is usually a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a dog bite. This will depend on the state in which you reside and can be anywhere between one and four years. Generally, it’s a good idea to promptly move forward with legal action after the incident.

  • Can I Sue if Another Dog Bites My Dog?

    Because your dog is your property, you can sue for damages if another pet owner’s dog bites yours. Typically, these cases are worth the amount of your medical expenses and any decrease in the pet’s market value. 

  • How Long Will the Process Take?

    If we move quickly, your case may be ready to present within months. But depending on circumstances and the court's case lineup, it could take a year or longer. As always, the sooner you get started, the better. 

  • Learn More About Dog Bites With a Free Case Evaluation

    If you have any other questions about dog bite lawsuits or still wonder, “How difficult is suing someone for dog bites?” get in touch to schedule a free case evaluation using our online contact form.

    You only have to pay if we win your case! Remember, At Morgan & Morgan, “The Fee Is Free,” until we settle your case. 

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Last updated on May 04, 2023

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