Though dog bites are relatively common, they are not a matter to take lightly. A single bite can not only leave you with an injury — it can impair your ability to perform work and function in your daily life. You may also face significant medical expenses and even lose wages from time missed at work. While what happened may seem like an accident, it is not fair for you to suffer at the hands of another. Thus, it is entirely within your rights to seek financial compensation in order to recover from your wounds.
Won’t Suing the Owners Damage Our Relationship or Put Their Dog in Danger?
This is a great question. Because most dog bites occur at the homes of family, friends, and neighbors, many of our clients abstain from taking legal action in favor of keeping the peace with their loved ones and acquaintances. Some believe the owners in question were unaware of their dog’s nature. Others are animal lovers who fear the dog who bit them will be put down unnecessarily.
First and foremost, compare your situation to being in a car wreck. If someone you knew rear-ended your vehicle, causing extensive damage, would you submit an insurance claim? You’re probably thinking, “Yes, that’s what insurance is for!” Just as auto insurance is there to protect us in cases of auto accidents, homeowner’s and renter’s insurance are there to protect us when accidents, such as dog bites, happen on our property. Your loved one or acquaintance probably took out a policy for this very reason and would likely not take offense, as they presumably understand they’re at fault and care about your well-being.
Additionally, a dog bite claim does not have to cause harm to the dog or your relationship with its owner. Dogs are not automatically put down because of a single bite, and pursuing compensation does not always equate to suing. We are often able to resolve dog bite cases without going to trial. Even when court is necessary, we are able to present the case in a way that is professional and respectful in order to maintain cordial relationships.