(Closed) Neighbor's dog bit my daughter, refusing to pay medical bills. Help?

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I haven’t, but if you are friends with your neighbors know that suing them will make it very awkward for you to be living next to one another once this is all over (no matter what the resolution will be).  I think they should pay for her medical bills and if it were my dog (if I had one) I would be mortified and embarassed and would absolutely cover her hospital visit.  Maybe they will once they get back from their cruise? 

Post # 3
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Get a lawyer. 


Seriously.  Your kid was injured and they have a lame-arse excuse. 


You don’t have to sue to get a lawyer but you should probably have one as the dr is worried about NERVE DAMAGE.  That can be a lifetime issue…this is way more than an ER co-pay.

Post # 4
444 posts
Helper bee

Look up your state’s laws on dog bite liability. Some states make the owner strictly liable, meaning regardless of whether the dog has a tendency to bite, the owner is responsible. Def consider getting a lawyer.

Post # 5
1221 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Their refusal to pay at least some of the medical bills is bad enough that the friendship is probably over anyway, so if you need to take them to court then so be it. I would. I don’t blame you for being upset, especially since they are trying to dodge responsibility.

Post # 6
2836 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

View original reply
dogproblem1:  I would want them to pay for medical bills as well (do you have insurance?)– based ln the way they seem to be behaving (dismissing the dogs behavior since they were busy packing up for vaca)–I’d be livid.  

Yes, sueing them will make for awkward times– especially because my guess is your daughter may still want to be friends with their daughter.  But at the same time- with how you’ve explained thier actions so far, I don’t even know if I’d want to continue a relationship with them at this point.

I’d wait until they get back from vacation, and talk to them again.  Truth is- I see almost NO way you wouldn’t win that court battle- so you might get them to be understanding and fork it over.

Post # 7
8943 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
dogproblem1:  You probably won’t have to sue for the medical bills — your health insurance will. They’ll go after the neighbors’ homeowner’s insurance and will probably win. You would be a witness, not the plaintiff in that case. If you wanted to sue for pain and suffering, then you would sue them and/or their homeowner’s insurance. As someone mentioned, that would likely destroy the friendship, but real friends wouldn’t put you in that position.

Post # 8
15041 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Look up the laws for your state.  My dog was just bit by another dog which lead to my looking up the laws in my state.  Turns out that it says right there in black and white that owners of a pet are responsible for any damages caused by their animal, be it to property damages or medical bills due to personal injury.  If that is the case in your state, I would show them that and tell them you will get a lawyer if need be, but hopefully that will be enough to scare them to pay up so that you don’t have to go through the hassle and paying for a laywer.

Post # 9
5083 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
dogproblem1:  Yep. Consult a lawyer. They are absolutely responsible for her current medical bills and if there is permanent damage, you’ll definitely want to have a lawyer as she may be entitled to more than that. 

It will probably be awkward with your neighbors if you sue them, but it’s going to be awkward anyway if you don’t and they refuse to pay. 

Post # 10
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I agree with previous posters.  Get a lawyer and at least investigate liability issues regarding animals.  Most lawyers will consult with you over the phone for 15-30 minutes without charging to discuss whether or not you have a case.  Document everything.  EVERYTHING.  Save any and all medical paperwork.  Your neighbors are dumbasses if they are made because you reported their dog.  It wasn’t exactly a playful nip.

Post # 12
2570 posts
Sugar bee

Sorry to hear your daughter got bit that must have been a pretty scary situation.

I have two excitable dog I don’t let them around little kids because you never know, and I would be devistated if they bit a child. If the worst was to happen I would be fully respoonsible because when you own a pet this is part of their ownership.

Any dog can bite under the right circumstance, that is no reason for the to be dodging their responsibilites. Hopefully they come to their senses and take care of your daughter the way they should.

Post # 13
1840 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
dogproblem1:  I’ve never had to deal with anything like this so can’t offer much in the way of advise but I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you and your daughter have to go through this.

My thoughts are with your daughter, it must have been a very upsetting situation and I hope that there is no lasting damage (to the nerves in her hand or to her feelings regarding dogs).

Your neighbours 100% should pay. Perhaps they were just too stressed about this happening so soon before their vacation and once they get back they will help out. 


ETA: I would keep that text just in case! What everyone has said regarding suing is correct but the more you keep the better. I would also write down everything you remember about the incident now while it’s fresh. Also, when you feel it won’t upset your daighter to much ask her to do the same (obviously you will need to write for her). These things will all help just in case it does end up going to court. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by  BaxterBride.
Post # 15
938 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Your daughter put her hand out (NOT the correct way to do it, by the way – should be the back of the hand, with palm DOWN) on THIER property.


RARELY is there ever an “unprovoked attack.”  Dogs give signs that they are feeling uncomfortable, and THEN they attack – but “unprovoked” is something that can be argued against by any animal behaviorist.  

You should NEVER EVER let a child approach an animal – I don’t care how well aquainted you are with them, if they are not your own – by themselves OR WITHOUT THE OWNERS PRESENT AS WELL.  Why?  Because adults are piss-poor with telling the temperment of an animal, and children are worse.


Sorry, but an animal is an animal is an animal.  Your daughter approached their dog, on their property – I HATE seeing animals be put down for that.  This is completely different than a loose dog bite.

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