Snarling Dog

Legal Considerations If You Or Your Child Gets Bitten By A Dog

Pets can be seen almost anywhere in your neighborhood, and while these little dogs can bring happiness to their owners, you know that these pets can still bring danger and fear. It’s a fact that dogs do bite, and they can bring certain illness to their victims. As a parent, you don’t want your child to suffer that kind of pain. You don’t want your child to be hurt by a dog. But if your child is actually bitten by a dog, do you know what are the legal considerations you should consider? Do you know what you should and shouldn’t do to sue the party responsible for the accident? This article can help you answer those questions.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article should not be taken as legal advice and should only be used as a resource to provide information about legal considerations if you or your child gets bitten by a dog. You should always seek for the services of a lawyer specializing in animal bite cases to give you a more in-depth view of this matter.

Who Is Liable?

If your child is hurt because of someone else’s negligence, of course, you would exhaust all of your efforts to ensure that someone is held responsible. If a party needs to be sued, as a parent, you will. But before you actually sue someone because your child is bitten by a dog, you need to know first who is liable for the situation.

  • Before you can sue the dog owner for what happened to your child, you need to be able to prove that the dog owner is liable. However, dog bite liability varies from state to state so you can’t expect that what your friend experienced during dog bite cases can be the same as yours.
  • There are states where owners are strictly liable for dog bites. This implies that a dog owner is always held liable for a dog bite even if the owner is not negligent or reckless or didn’t know that the dog would bite. In these states, the dog owner is always responsible for the dog bite no matter what the circumstances are.
  • On the other side of the coin, there are also states which are more lenient with their laws on dog bites. In Texas and Oregon for example, the dog owner is not liable for “one bite” made for the first time, especially if they have no idea that their dogs can actually bite and cause harm. But these dog owners are on notice for the next time their dog attacks and can be held liable afterwards.
  • Since state laws are different, it’s best that you gather information about what specific laws your state follows. This will give you an idea of what you should do whenever your child is bitten by a dog.
  • But if you want to be at ease knowing that what you’re actually doing is correct, you can always seek the help of an attorney who has years of experience in dealing with dog bite cases. They’ll be the best person to ask for advice about your situation. Once you hire someone to work with you, you won’t be stressed as much since a professional is working on your behalf.

If your child is bitten by a dog, you have the right to sue. But before you do so, make sure that your child seeks medical attention right away. There are infections brought by dog bites which can worsen by the minute, so keep in mind that your child’s health is taken cared of first. Unlike workers’ compensation, it’s essential for a party to be held liable too so someone can shoulder the expenses your child might incur from the hospital.

Dog snapping at little girl

What Can You Do To Avoid Dog Bites?

Lawsuits can become taxing, and usually, the process can last for years. For you to avoid being in that situation, you can be cautious to keep your child from getting bitten by dogs. Here are some tips for you to do that:

  • Teach your child how to look for signs of anxiety of dogs: Not all dogs liked to be hugged, and you should let your children know about this. Yes, dogs can be cuddly and irresistible, but they may attack whenever they’re held in certain ways. You can also do your own research and look for signs of anxiety among dogs and once you see any of these in a dog, make sure that your child is nowhere near him. Protect your child from what you know and never let them around anxious dogs.
  • Don’t let your children chase dogs: Children are playful, but dogs don’t always feel the same. If a dog walks away from your child, let your child understand that the dog is not initiating a game for him to be chased. If your child continues to chase a dog after he walked away, the dog might feel in danger and protect himself by biting your child.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe all the times. You’re willing to do all means available to ensure that nothing bad happens to your child, and knowing the legal considerations if your child is bitten by a dog is very useful for you in more ways than one. Sure, your child might be safe and sound now, but it pays if you know all of this information beforehand. You will know what to do rather than be caught up in the moment once your child is actually bitten by a dog.

About The Author

Sabrina Wright is a vibrant young law writer currently writing her next big project. Her modern outlook on the law field is reflected on her informative pieces. Sabrina loves cooking and often invites her friends over for barbecue.


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  1. Elize Swanepoel

    Thanks for this informative article!

    My biggest fear is my child getting bitten by a dog.
    I try to educate JD to treat animals kindly but he is still too little to fully understand the danger of getting bitten.

    I scold him when he’s playing too rough with my little Grietjie and I can hear her snarling at him.

    I keep telling him to leave her be and not to hurt her but he sometimes do something when I turn my back.

    He is playing but I’m just scared that she will one day bite him. She’s a very tame and sweet dog and is used to children. But one can never be too careful.

    I will just keep teaching him how to treat animals and be consistent.

    I’ve seen photo’s of dog attacks and I really don’t want this to happen to us.

    It often happens that it’s not the dog that it as fault. Dogs give warning signs but people don’t always adhere to it and end up being bitten.

    And then you get dog owners who has a dog that is prone to biting or attacking and they would not do anything to insure the safety of visitors or people walking past the yard.

    My best friend got viciously attacked by a few dogs when she was still in high school. She still has the scars and it was a terrible ordeal for all of us. In this case the dogs were not on a leash and have actually attacked quite a few people in the past and even after my friend got attacked.

    Only after my friend’s story was published in the local paper, did they have the dogs put down. In this case the dog’s were a danger to people.

    This is so scary. I just pray that this will never happen to JD. It would be devastating.

    Communication and education is vital when it comes to this subject.

  2. We are a pet family where we have 3 dogs (2 Boerboels and a Maltese) and a cat. Our dogs are wonderful with my children, they can do anything and not one warning from them. So when my boys see a dog they naturally want to pat the dog with no fear or caution. I have told them that not all dogs are friendly to strangers and if they want to pat a dog they must ask the owner. Being older my two eldest understand this but my two years old just goes. I am with him and I watch the dog and my son carefully, if I see my son is getting too excited I remove him from the situation.

    I love the yellow ribbon idea, I wish people would adopt this.

    My neighbours child got attacked by the neighbours across the road Pitbull and had to go to hospital. I could just imagine the pain and fear a child has to go through in a situation like that.

    I think caution and awareness is important when it comes to other peoples pets whether a dog, cat or rabbit.

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