Dog Bite Lawsuit

Being attacked by a dog can be a terrifying experience, and it may leave victims with serious and permanent injuries. Compensation from a dog bite lawsuit can help pay for necessary medical treatment and other damages. See if you may be able to work with a top dog bite injury lawyer to seek the compensation and justice you deserve.

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About Dog Bite Injuries in the United States

Over 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with more than 800,000 requiring medical care and dozens dying from their injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About half of dog bite victims are children, who may be less experienced around dogs and unaware of the warning signs that suggest a dog may attack. Additionally, they often suffer more serious injuries as they tend to get bitten on the head and neck.

While dog bites can happen anywhere, the majority occur in private homes and yards. However, dog bites can also occur in the street, in parks, and even in stores.

By filing a dog bite lawsuit, victims can seek money to help pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to a dog bite.

A dog bite injury lawyer can accurately assess the damages you may be owed and fight hard for maximum compensation.

See if a dog attack attorney in the network may be able to help you get justice and compensation during a free case review.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

Most dog bites are unexpected and happen without warning, leaving victims wondering what they should do next.

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, consider taking the steps outlined below.

  1. Seek medical attention: Get prompt medical care, especially if you have a puncture wound, to prevent an infection and other health problems. You may need a rabies shot if you can’t confirm whether the dog was vaccinated. Keep track of your medical expenses and time missed from work because of your injuries.
  2. Gather evidence: If possible, take pictures of your injuries and the place where the dog bite occurred. Ask the dog owner for their contact information and get phone numbers for any witnesses who may have seen what happened. This evidence will be helpful in case you decide to file a dog bite lawsuit.
  3. Contact animal control: By reporting the incident to the proper authorities, you can take action to protect others. Additionally, animal control will perform an investigation to establish whether the dog has a history of biting or acting aggressively, which could help your case.
  4. Talk to a dog bite lawyer: A dog bite attorney can review the facts of your case and explain your legal options. Get a free case review right now.

It’s a good idea to contact a dog bite injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident, as they can take action to protect your legal rights.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on various factors like the age of the victim, what part of the body was bitten, and the size and strength of the dog breed involved.

In many cases, victims suffer physical injuries and psychological harm.

Common dog bite injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Eye injuries
  • Infections
  • Lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Puncture wounds
  • Rabies
  • Wrongful death

A dog bite injury lawyer can handle a case regardless of the type of injury involved and fight for compensation that can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

How to Sue for a Dog Bite

In many cases, victims may be able to file a dog bite lawsuit to hold the animal’s owner accountable and pursue compensation to cover expenses related to the attack.

This may be the case if the dog was off leash, the attack was unprovoked, or the animal has a history of aggressive behavior.

While each dog bite lawsuit is unique, the basic steps to file a claim are below.

1. Get a Free Case Review

Lawyers for dog bites provide free case reviews, so victims can see if they have a case without any financial risk. If you have a claim, they can handle every step of the lawsuit process for you, so you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life.

2. Collect Evidence

Your legal team will gather evidence to build your dog bite lawsuit.

This evidence may include:

  • Animal control records
  • Medical bills
  • Photos/videos
  • Proof of lost income
  • Therapy records
  • Witness statements

Tip: It’s a good idea to take pictures of your injuries throughout the healing process and hold onto any items of clothing that may have been torn or damaged in the attack, as this evidence may help you win your case.

3. File Your Dog Bite Lawsuit

Your lawyer will file your lawsuit in the appropriate court before any legal deadlines, naming all responsible parties as defendants, like the dog’s owner or a landlord.

An experienced dog bite injury lawyer will be knowledgeable about the laws that pertain to your case and advise on the route that is most likely to result in a positive outcome.

4. Fight for a Dog Bite Settlement

Your legal team will seek a dog bite lawsuit settlement that provides you with as much compensation as possible.

In many cases, dog bites are covered by a homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy. In that case, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance carrier to secure maximum compensation.

Insurance companies are infamous for making low-ball settlement offers, but you can protect yourself from this claim tactic by working with an experienced dog bite injury lawyer who knows what your case is worth.

A lawyer well-versed in personal injury law can advise on the path that’s most likely to result in the best outcome for your dog bite injury case.

Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts

In 2023, U.S. insurers paid $1.12 billion in dog-related injury claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). The states with the most claims were California, Florida, and Texas.

The average cost to settle a dog bite insurance claim was $58,545, the group reported. However, some victims who file a dog bite lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney may be rewarded with a larger payout.

Some dog bite lawsuit settlements that have been reported include:

  • $400,000 for a child who was attacked by a dog at a friend’s house and needed plastic surgery
  • $350,000 to a victim bitten by a leashed dog
  • $300,000 for a person who suffered bite wounds on the chest and face
  • $225,000 on behalf of a person attacked through a fence
  • $155,000 for a woman with an arm injury that required surgery
  • $85,000 to a utility company employee who developed PTSD after being bitten by a German Shepherd at a customer’s home

Factors that may impact dog bite settlement amounts include the victim’s injury, past and future medical expenses, and level of emotional distress.

Did you know?

In 2023, a California judge awarded $10 million to a mother and child who suffered severe physical injuries and emotional trauma after being attacked by a pit bull.

Regardless of the facts of your case, an experienced dog bite injury lawyer will strive to get you the compensation you deserve.

See if we can connect you with a skilled dog attack lawyer during a free case review.

Dog Bite Laws

Laws that affect who is considered responsible for an animal attack vary from state to state. Some that typically come into play are detailed below.

Comparative negligence: If a victim’s own negligence contributed to the dog bite, they may receive less money. This could occur in a dog bite lawsuit if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing at the time.

Dangerous dog: Some states have laws that prevent owners from having dangerous dogs outside an enclosure unless the animal is muzzled and restrained by a chain or leash. Some dogs, like pit bulls, are classified as dangerous because of their breed. However, most dogs are considered to be a threat because of unprovoked attacks on people or other animals.

Leash laws: Most municipalities have laws that require people to keep their pets on a leash in public. Violation of a leash law may be used as evidence to hold a pet owner accountable for a dog bite incident.

One-bite rule: According to this rule, owners can be held responsible if they knew their dog has shown signs of aggression before, like biting, growling, or chasing, but failed to take precautions to protect others. If the owner failed to train, secure, or restrain the dog, or did not have dangerous dog warnings in sight, they can be considered negligent.

Strict liability: Under this doctrine, the owner of the dog is responsible, regardless of whether they acted negligently or knew that their dog was aggressive.

A dog bite injury lawyer can explain the laws that may come into play in your potential case.

Get Help From a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

Dog bites are painful and can leave victims with physical and emotional injuries that may last a lifetime. Many of these attacks could have been avoided if the owners had used more care and common sense.

For many victims, a dog bite lawsuit is a way to hold negligent pet owners accountable and pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and related damages.

Our legal partners have recovered billions of dollars for dog bite victims and others who have been harmed through no fault of their own.

The dog bite law firms in our network:

  • Can help dog bite victims in all 50 states
  • Have decades of experience in personal injury law
  • Never charge any hourly or upfront fees

Take the first step toward justice for a dog bite by calling our case managers at (888) 726-9160 right now or filling out our online form.

Dog Bites Lawyer FAQs

How much compensation do you get for a dog bite?

Many dog bite cases have ended with settlements in the $100,000 to $300,000 range.

Insurance claim payouts for dog-related injuries like bites paid out an average of $58,545 per claim in 2023.

Victims who file a dog bite lawsuit and pursue a settlement may be rewarded with much larger payouts.

An attorney for a dog bite can negotiate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit on your behalf and demand the compensation you deserve.

How long after a dog bite do I have to sue?

Dog bite victims typically have 2 to 3 years after an attack to file a dog bite lawsuit.

However, the exact timeline is determined by your state’s statute of limitations for personal injury. Once this deadline passes, you’ll be unable to take legal action.

A personal injury lawyer can tell you about the deadline in your state and file a lawsuit on your behalf if you have a case.

What is the highest dog bite claim?

Some victims have received millions of dollars from a dog bite lawsuit.

In 2023, a Florida jury awarded $5.6 million to a teacher who was attacked by her neighbor’s dog and needed multiple surgeries and physical therapy.

The owners alleged that they did not know about the dog’s aggressiveness, but depositions showed they had witnessed another biting incident.

How do I find dog bite lawyers near me? works with dog bite injury lawyers who can help victims in all 50 states.

These attorneys never charge any upfront fees and have recovered billions of dollars for victims of injustice nationwide.

See if we can connect you with a top lawyer for dog bites during a free consultation by calling our case managers at (888) 726-9160. Icon

Fact-Checked and Legally Reviewed by: makes it easier to take legal action. We have information, lawsuit guides, and breaking news about drugs, products, and other issues that could affect you.

  1. American Veterinary Medical Association. “Dog bite prevention.” Retrieved March 25, 2024, from
  2. Centers for Disease Control. (2023, September 8). “QuickStats: Number of Deaths Resulting from Being Bitten or Struck by a Dog,* by Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2011–2021.” Retrieved March 25, 2024, from
  3. Insurance Information Institute. (2024, April 8). “Dog-Related Injury Claim Payouts Hit $1.12B in 2023.” Retrieved April 9, 2024, from
  4. Insurance Information Institute. (2023, April 6). “Triple-I: Dog-Related Injury Claim Payouts Exceeded $1 Billion in 2022.” Retrieved March 25, 2024, from
  5. Sokolove Law. (2024, February 23). “Dog Bite Lawsuit.” Retrieved March 25, 2024, from
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