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I was invited onto my neighbors property and their dog bit me.

Gardner, MA |

I did go to the doctor, and now have a large bill for seeking a doctors help. The owner of the dog seemed sympathetic, but is now ignoring that he offered to help. Can I get help to pay for this bill? I first felt bad for the owners, but their dog is constantly off leash and runs at me and my dog. This dog has also bit another neighborhood dog. I am about ready to seek help from a lawyer.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Dog owners are generally expected to be in control of their pets and are responsible for any damages caused by their pets. If your claim is less than $7,000.00 you should consider filing a suit in the Small Claims Division of your local District Court (clerk will assist you). It is an informal process, but you will your substantiate your claim (prove cause and loss). If your claim is more substantial consult with an attorney.

    This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.


  2. Since the bite occurred on the dog owner's property, the leash issue is irrelevant to your claim. If, as seems the case, the dog biting another dog occurred prior to your being bitten, it would seem you knew of the dog's tendencies - and, so did its owners.

    Document all your damages and send a demand letter by certified mail to the owners. They almost certainly have homeowners insurance which would cover this.

    Should they fail to address your claim and it's no more than $7,000, you may bring an action in Small Claims Court. As you live in Gardner, this is simple - you have the court IN your town.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  3. I agree with my colleagues but add that you should file a complaint with animal control. If you have not complained previously to animal control and they have no proof the dog bit another dog, that information is not going to help you.

    If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.


  4. If there is a witness to the dog owner's initial offer of help, that could be helpful to you.

    In addition to notifying the animal control officer of the bite, you may inquire with the officer about the details of past bites (by the same dog). If you learn of past episodes, those (past-bitten) people might have useful information for you.

    Best of luck.


  5. His insurance should cover it. Your insurance may cover it. Seek a
    lawyer.

    Does this answer your question?

    henry lebensbaum, esq.

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