Can You Sue If Your Dog Gets Injured?

Can You Sue If Your Dog Gets Injured?
Adam Shapiro Oct/01/2018

The dog is still one of the most loyal and popular pets in America, so it’s not at all unusual for many Americans to own one—or a few—as pets. But dogs, being animals with minds of their own, can sometimes be a little uncontrollable, or surprise us with unexpected behavior. In most legal situations involving dogs, the focus is on what happens if a dog injures a person, usually by biting.

However, the unfortunate, and the opposite can also happen, where a person injures a dog, and sometimes this is not always an accident either. Many people view their dog as just another member of the family, so it makes sense that if your dog was injured due to someone’s carelessness, you’d want some kind of compensation. But can you get it?

Negligence Is Always Illegal

When it comes to negligence, that is, a legal situation where someone’s carelessness or deliberate choice to ignore a harmful situation results in injury, the law always sides with the victim. In this case, it doesn’t matter whether the victim is a family dog, the law still does not accept that someone else, acting negligently, escapes free of consequence.

So the simple answer is, “yes, you absolutely can take someone else to court for the injury of your dog, if your dog is an innocent victim.” However, it’s important to note that just because you can take someone to court for a lawsuit, it doesn’t mean that the end results will be the same as if a human family member were involved.

Different Standards

When a person is injured, permanently crippled, or even dies as a result of an accident, such as a drunk driving collision, that person may be the breadwinner for a family, or even a child with his or her whole life ahead of her.

As a result of that potential for human life and contributions to family and economy, the weighting is very different in situations of injury or even death.

A dog, however, unless it is a professional show dog, a guide dog for the blind, or used for breeding purposes, doesn’t carry that same weight in the eyes of the law. As beloved as a mixed breed, house pet is, while the courts may recognize that a wrong has been inflicted on an innocent animal, it is still just a pet. So the idea that a lawsuit would be worth tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in damages isn’t realistic.

If you go to court for the injury or death of your dog, bear in mind that any damages involved are likely to only be for the cost of veterinary treatment, if the animal is wounded, or the cost of buying a new a pet to replace it, if death is involved. There may be circumstances where emotional distress/suffering are valid, if you saw your animal injured or killed in front of you, but you would have to talk to a personal injury lawyer to get your case evaluated, and find out exactly where you stand.


Adam Shapiro
Adam Shapiro Oct/01/2018


Client Testimonials

Attorney David Goldman has been exceptional in the process of helping me through the case. He has always been easy to reach, whether by phone or email, and has thorough knowledge and explains clearly in depth so you feel safe and confident in your lawyer

I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.

I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!

I hired Mr. Walsh after an automobile accident this past March. He and his entire staff were extremely professional. They kept me informed every step of the way and settled my case in a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help.

Get Your Free Case Review

Fill out my online form.

Law Offices Near You

Sarasota Office



3550 S Tamiami Trail, 3rd Floor Sarasota Florida 34239

Bradenton Office



5291 Office Park Blvd. Bradenton Florida 34203

St. Petersburg Office

St. Petersburg


6446 Central Avenue St. Petersburg Florida 33707

Venice Office



3986 S. Tamiami Trail Venice Florida 34293

Englewood Office



2960 S. McCall Rd Englewood Florida 34224

Port Charlotte Office

Port Charlotte


3986 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte Florida 33952

Arcadia Office



10 South DeSoto Avenue Arcadia Florida 34266

Fort Myers Office

Fort Myers


8359 Beacon Blvd Fort Myers Florida 33907

Lakeland Office



5137 S. Lakeland Dr. Lakeland Florida 33813

Get personal attention from a lawyer with decades of experience.