If a dog attacked me and did not bite me but I did hurt my leg trying to get away, what do I do?

Asked on July 12, 2014 under Personal Injury, Delaware

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you know who is the dog's owner, after completing your medical treatment and being released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement. 

If the dog's owner has insurance which is applicable in this situation, file your personal injury claim with the insurance carrier.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed. If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the dog's owner for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed against the dog owner prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

If you don't know the identity of the dog's owner, you don't have any case because you wouldn't know who should be held liable for your injury. 

If you know the identity of the dog's owner, the owner might deny that this incident occurred.  If that happens, then you will need a witness to support your claim that you were injured by the dog.  If you don't know the identity of the dog's owner, it is possible that people living in that area may be able to identify the owner based on a description of the dog.  It is imperative to identify the dog's owner in order to recover compensation for your injury.


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