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When can you file a claim for a dog bite?

If you're sitting in your yard when your neighbor's dog comes over to you and attacks, you certainly are within your rights to file a claim against your neighbor. The majority of states recognize that owners are liable for their pets' behaviors. Additionally, many states have leash laws that require animals to be on leashes or contained in other ways. If the dog was loose, that could open the owner up to liability as well.

Interestingly, if you're doing work at the time of an attack, you might be able to claim workers' compensation for your injuries. You may also be able to file a claim against the owner on top of your workers' compensation claim. For example, if you work as a lifeguard at an outdoor pool and are attacked by a dog off-leash, then you could qualify for workers' compensation since you were doing your job as well as being able to file a claim against the negligent dog owner.

Another good example would be if you're bitten while performing work in a person's home. For instance, a dog might be aggressive toward a person coming to install cable. If that individual is bitten, he or she could be eligible for workers' compensation if the worker is an employee. Additionally, because homeowners are expected to keep guests reasonably safe on their properties, the owner could be held liable for failing to do so.

Dog bites can lead to thousands in medical bills. Fortunately, there are homeowner's policies and other insurances that could cover your injuries. Make a claim; you shouldn't have to pay for another person's animal attacking you.

Source: FindLaw, "Dog/Animal Bites - FAQ," accessed Sep. 28, 2017

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