Am I entitled to damages ifa neighbor’s dog attacked me but did not bite me?

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Am I entitled to damages ifa neighbor’s dog attacked me but did not bite me?

I was attacked by a neighbor’s dog but not bitten. I believe the dog owner is indeed guilty of negligence. How much money is typically awarded in cases such as this? And how often does the dog owner get away with a warning? I’m tired of dog owners having vicious dogs and not controlling them.

Asked on September 11, 2010 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you were not bitten, there are no damages--i.e. money--that you can recover. Lawsuits compensate for injuries, out of pocket costs and losses, etc. No injury, nothing to sue about. That doesn't mean you can't report the dog and the neighbor to the police and/or to animal control--there are things that can be done about viscious or uncontrolled animals. However, in the fortunate case of not being injured, there is no lawsuit that you can bring--though if you were attacked on your own property by a dog that came onto it, you could, if you wanted to, possibly sue to get a court order that the owner must keep the dog on his/her own property and not allow it onto yours. That would probably be very expensive for what it would do, though it is something you could talk to an attorney about in that situation if you truly want to. Otherwise, police and/or animal control are the appropriate venues.


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