Can I sue for pain and suffering after a dog attack? - Injury Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can I sue for pain and suffering after a dog attack?

I had my pug dog in my yard. The next door neighbor came around the corner of his house. His 50 lb. shephard boxer mix male dog charged at me and knocked me down and my 12 lb. pug. I ended up getting stitches in my right hand index finger (5 or so). My dog had 2 punctures in his side and back. My neighbor paid my medical bills and vet bills. He had renters insurance. Since then has moved. I've been advised to sue for pain and suffering. He paid medical bills (about $2500), vet bill ($125), pharmacy bill (around $60). Am I able to sue for pain and suffering? Roughly what amount of money would I be able to sue for (being realistic)? Also would the property owner be liable as well? Would my property owner be liable as well being as it happened on the property where I reside? I am a renter. I am unemployed.

Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
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If you did not sign any release waiving your right to do so, you would definitely have a pain and suffering claim against the owner of the dog. If the owner has insurance to cover this, then you would not have access to other places for insurance. It is difficult to assess the value of your claim without seeing the medical records and scarring, if any.

Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/12/2012

Answer By Jeffrey Lapin
Lapin Law Offices
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Yes you can sue for "pain and suffering" as well as any other damages you have as a result of being attacked by a dog. As long as you were not trespassing and did not provoke the dog, the owner of the dog is liable for all of your damages. From the information you provide, the dog's owner has paid all of your bills associated with the attack. In addition, as you were unemployed you would not have any lost wages unless you were looking for work at the time of the attack and had to hold off on your job search while you were recovering. As indicated, you can get additional money for "pain and suffering." In addition, if you have any permanent scarring you are entitled to money for that as well. There is no "magic" formula for determining how much money a person is entitled to. Each case is different. Some of the factors that attorneys use to help determine a case's value include, but are not limited to: how long was the person in pain; what body parts were affected; how did the injury affect the person's life; how long did it take for the pain to go away; and how large and noticeable the scar is. Without knowing this information I cannot tell you how much more money you should get. Neither property owner would likely be liable. The owners of the property would have had to done something wrong for them to be liable. From the limited information you provided I do not think the owners are liable. I would suggest you talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. Most offer a free consultation so it will not cost you anything to learn more about your rights and options.

Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/12/2012

Answer By Melvin Franke

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Yes sue, get an experienced attorney

Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/11/2012

Answer By Jerrie S. Weiss

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If you can prove that the owner was negligent and that the negligence caused the attack, then you definitely can sue for your pain and suffering.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/11/2012

Answer By G. Wayne Hynum
Hynum Law Office, LLC
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If you did not sign a release when the shepherd's owner paid your medical bills, you could sue the owner for your pain and suffering, and mental and emotional distress, and if you had to miss work because of your injuries you could also sue for loss of income. One thing to keep in mind though is that in Mississippi the dog owner is not liable for any damages unless you can prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous. Generally to prove that you have to show that the dog has previously attacked someone else, or has acted in a hostile, threatening manner to someone else. I cannot tell you how much your pain and suffering is worth without knowing more about the extent and duration of your injuries. Based on the little information you gave I would say a jury might find your pain and suffering to be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Based on the facts you give I do not see how the dog owner's landlord would be liable, nor do I see how your landlord would be liable either.

Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 9/10/2012

Answer By Robert Kelly
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
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The amount of compensation due from any injury is a question of fact specific to the circumstances of the situation. The statutory provisions regarding dog bite liability are at RCW 16.08 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=16.08). I particular, RCW 16.08.040 says " The owner of any dog which shall bite any person while such person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place including the property of the owner of such dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness. You can also read relevant dog bite cases (i.e. Beeler V. Hickman, 50 Wn. App. 746, 750 P.2d 1282 (1988)) at the mrsc.org website.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/10/2012

Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
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Go see a personal injury attorney right away. If you can prove that the dog owner knew or should have know that his dog had vicious propensities (as defined by case law) or that the owner of the property knew that the dog had VP's, you have a strict liability case.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/10/2012

Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
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You cant sue successfully unless you prove the dog has a vision propensity. Has he regularly charged at or attacked other people? does he have a reputation for being vicious? If you cant prove that you lose. Pain and suffering, maybe yes. But if the jury were aware that he has paid your bills they may figure he is a good guy and cut him some slack. Do you really want to sue someone who has tried to do right by you?

Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 9/10/2012

David F. Stoddard
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You can sue for pain and suffering. Without any information about how the injury has affected you, it is difficult to say what a reasonable amount would be. If the injury is not permanent, it may only be a small amount, such as $500.00 to $2,000.00. The land owners would not be liable. Unless you can establish pain and suffering in an amount that exceeds the dog owner's insurance or ability to pay, this would make no difference, as you cannot collect the same damages more than once from different sources.

Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 9/9/2012

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