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Children and Dog Bites & Attacks at a Relative’s House – What Are Your Legal Rights?

Dog attacks involving children often occur at a neighbor or relative’s home. Dogs which aren’t used to being around children or being around multiple children may act aggressively and bite a child. In some instances, a dog ends up causing injuries without being aggressive. For example, a dog may simply play too rough and nip at a child, causing injuries to the face or head. In either of these instances, does an injured child have legal rights?

Lawsuits Against Relatives or Neighbors for Dog Bites

Naturally, parents whose children are injured in a dog bite or attack want to avoid litigation, especially when the defendant is a neighbor or relative. However, in serious injury cases, litigation may be necessary.

It is important to note that in many instances, a dog bite or attack case will be covered under an insurance policy, such as a homeowners or renters’ insurance policy. The dog owner may have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance coverage. In some cases, a landlord’s insurance policy may apply.

Can a Dog Bite Lawsuit be Avoided?

When there is an applicable insurance policy, a lawsuit may be avoided. A dog bite or attack claim may be opened with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The claim is treated much like an auto accident insurance claim. Depending on the insurance company, the case may be settled without even having to file a lawsuit.

Claims Against Other Parties

In some instances, a dog bite or attack victim may have legal claims against parties other than the immediate dog owner. Dog breeders, sellers, trainers, etc., may be held liable for a dog attack. Negligence in breeding, negligence in selling and negligence in training may have caused the dog to attack.

Our dog bite lawyers have used novel theories to pursue cases against non-owner parties. In one case, firm partner Dan O’Brien successfully pursued a case against a dog training company for negligence in training. After a 2 week training course, the plaintiff’s two dogs returned home timid and skittish. A few months later, one of the dogs attacked the mother in front of her young child. The case eventually settled for the dog training company’s insurance policy limit ($1,000,000).

Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in Pennsylvania & New Jersey

For a free consultation, please call our dog bite injury lawyers. We have offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. (877) 944-8396

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  • 1650 Market Street, Suite 1800
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Phone: (215) 864-7168
  • Toll Free: (877) 944-8396
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  • 457 Haddonfield Road
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
  • Phone: (856) 317-3600
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