when my neighbor’s dog bites me, how do i get the neighbor to pay the medical costs?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

when my neighbor’s dog bites me, how do i get the neighbor to pay the medical costs?

I was bit by my neighbor’s dog in our mutual back yard condo building. The dog
was off leash. I went to emergency room and received treatment for the wound,
antibiotics, tetanus shot, and X-ray. I want the owner to pay the costs.

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Personal Injury, Illinois


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In order to be compensated for your injury, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and if applicable documentation of wage loss.  File your personal injury claim with the homeowner's insurance carrier.
Compensation for the medical bills s straight reimbursement.  The medical report will document 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 case is settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the homeowner's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the dog owner.  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 dog has a history of biting, the dog owner would also be liable for strict liability which is liability whether or not due care is exercised.
Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.  If the dog does not have a history of biting, only negligence would be applicable.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit against the dog owner must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption