What are my daughter’s rights to reimbursement of medical expenses by a neighbor whose dog was bit her?

UPDATED: Dec 1, 2014

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What are my daughter’s rights to reimbursement of medical expenses by a neighbor whose dog was bit her?

Her thumb was broken. She said she will pay the associated bills, but only after all the doctors visits are finished. Bills are now coming due from the orthopedic surgeon, but the neighbor said she will not pay until all visits are done. Can we force her to pay the bills that are due?

Asked on December 1, 2014 under Personal Injury, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I might consider seeking consultation from an attorney in your area as soon as possible.  Here is why: while it is nice of your neighbor to make such a statement about paying the bills (even with the qualification of when), Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bit cases.  That means that you could recover not only for medical bills but for the injury which here seems severe.  Also, an attorney can contact the doctor's and advise that they can file claims with him or her and then there would be a lien on the case when it settles and the liens would be paid from the settlement (often compromised for a lesser amount). Or maybe submit to your insurer who could subrogate.  Regardless it is worth a free consultation.  Good luck.

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