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Here's What to Do If a Neighbor's Dog Attacks You

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and in many of those cases, the dog's owner can be held legally liable. But when is it appropriate to take legal action, and what kind of case can you expect? Here's what to do if a neighborhood dog attacks you.

Assess Your Case

Start by gathering all the facts of your situation and try to answer one important question: would contacting an attorney and pursuing a case be worth your time and money? If the injuries to your body and property were minor, it may not be worthwhile. Remember, liability after a dog attack will likely fall under at least one of three laws: dog-bite statutes, which automatically hold owners responsible if the dog wasn't provoked; one-bite rules, which hold owners accountable when they knowingly own dangerous dogs; and negligence laws, which apply to owners who failed to keep a dog under control. Louisiana is unusual as its laws regarding dog bites fall solely under negligence laws.

When You've Decided to Sue

If the damages to your body and property are severe enough, and if the dog's owner is unwilling to cover your expenses, it may be time to contact an attorney who handles personal injury cases. Be sure to have as much information and documentation about the situation as possible, including medical treatment costs, income losses due to missed work, and damaged clothing or other property. Your case may go to trial or be settled out of court.


In addition to personal injury cases, the attorneys at Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick handle business litigation, family law, and more. To learn more about how we approach dog attacks and other personal injury cases, contact us today online or by calling (504) 500-1108.