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Atlanta Injury Lawyer > Blog > Dog Bites > What Happens If Your Friend’s Dog Bites You?

What Happens If Your Friend’s Dog Bites You?


In mystery novels, the detective often asks witnesses whether the victim’s dogs were barking at the time of the crime.  The idea is that, if an unfamiliar intruder approached the house, the dogs would bark.  If someone entered the house without provoking a response from the dogs, this implies that the intruder was someone the dogs knew; it did not seem unusual to the dogs that this person should enter the house.  Perhaps the guard dog wagged its tail as a sign of welcome, or perhaps it opened one eye as if to say, “Oh, it’s you,” and then went back to sleep.  Dogs are intelligent animals that can tell familiar people apart from unfamiliar people.  Even when interacting with a person they do not know, they can tell whether their owner regards the unfamiliar person as harmless or as threatening.  Despite this, dogs sometimes bite people they know, even when there is no immediately identifiable reason for this behavior.  If you are suffering from injuries after a friend’s dog bit you, an Atlanta dog bite lawyer can help you weigh your options.

Suing Your Friend Is Not the Default Option

If the question is, “Can you sue your friend if your friend’s dog bites you?” the answer is, “yes.”  You are not alone if you are uncomfortable with the idea of filing a lawsuit against someone with whom you have a close enough relationship that you have socialized with the person in the presence of his or her family pet.  The good news is that it is often possible to get the money you need to cover the medical bills associated with the dog bite without going to court.  The first step is to talk to your friend about the matter.  Show your friend the medical bills you received from the emergency room and from any doctors’ offices you visited for follow-up care.  It will not be difficult for your friend to see that the medical bills pose a financial burden for you.

If possible, let your friends decide whether they would prefer to give you the money to cover the portion of your medical bills that your insurance doesn’t cover or whether they would rather file a claim with their homeowners’ insurance company.  If the dog bite incident happened at your friends’ home, then their homeowners’ insurance should cover it.

Details Than Can Affect the Legal Issues When a Familiar Dog Bites You

If you decide to sue, which only makes sense if your injuries are very severe, you will have to prove that your friend should have known that the dog had a history of aggressive behavior, which may or may not include previous bite incidents.  You will also have to prove that you did not provoke the dog to behave aggressively.

Contact Zagoria Law About Dog Bite Cases

An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help you if your friend’s dog bit you.  Contact Zagoria Law in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss your case.



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