Does Your Dog Have Legal Rights?

Our law firm gets a lot of contacts from people whose dogs have been attacked by another dog.  Understandably, these people want justice and compensation for themselves and their dogs.

Your dog does not have the right to sue for civil damages in a court of law.  This means that there will probably not be compensation for your dog’s pain and suffering. However, if your dog is injured or killed in a dog attack, you, as the dog’s owner, can sue that dog’s owner for money damages. Money damages recoverable in these cases are controlled by state law. In general, the amount recoverable is limited to the cost of veterinary bills or, in the case of death, to the replacement value of your dog. In most states, a dog owner can’t recover compensation for loss of companionship or the emotional distress. This may change, particularly in the case of service dogs.

Our firm does not generally take these cases because they are generally best handled in small claims court.

5 Things You Can Do if Your Dog is Attacked

Below are 5 things you can do if your dog is attacked by another dog.

  1. Contact the police and animal control. Your city most likely has “dangerous animal” regulations.
  2. Document your dog’s injuries. Take pictures and/or videos of the injuries.
  3. Get the name and address of the other dog’s owner.
  4. Document veterinary and other expenses incurred because of the attack.
  5. Take the owner to small claims court.

What if a Person is Attacked and Bitten?

A person attacked and bitten by a dog has the right to sue for dog bite compensation, including pain and suffering. This amount can be substantial because it includes amounts for disfigurement.

If the person bitten is a child, the parent or another adult can sue on the child’s behalf. Any money won from the dog owner will, in most cases, be used to pay current expenses with the remainder being placed in trust for the child.

Contact our dog bite attorneys by calling 612-338-0202 or 1-888-377-8900 and request a free consultation. Our law firm has offices in Minneapolis and helps dog bite victims throughout the state.


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Category: Dog Bite
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