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Take pictures of your injury now, in case this goes to court after you've healed. As long as you have a good lawyer, you shouldn't lose. Still, FYL for the hassle and lawyer fees :
Any straight(as in not crooked, for the homophobia paranoids), intelligent judge will rule in OP's favor. OP should also counter-sue since, at least by California law, that calls for some serious monetary compensation and a put-down dog. She's probably threatening to sue to scare you away from suing. You didn't cause emotional distress, the dog did. He attacked you, not the other way around. I hate the idea of dogs being put to sleep, but that dog was obviously raised violently by an imcompetent owner.. Sometimes thee's no choice.
I completely agree with Danny - this is just as case of someone getting aggressive as a bluff. They are facing some serious legal problems for not restraining their dog properly and having a dog that has bitten someone. Never in a million years will they take it further, and if they did, they'd lose SO badly. At a minimum though, I'd at least document the situation in case they're stupid enough to try it. Go see a doctor for a tetanus shot (this should be done anyway), and get a written report. File a police report (although this may result in the dog being put down, depending on where you live.) The most important thing is not to be intimidated by the ranting of stupid, scared people.
I agree that it's likely a bluff, but OP could be omitting part of the story here that could make the suit valid (although still stupid). For instance, OP could've been running on what was technically private property, or OP could've reacted in anger with threats or by harming the dog. Again, I'm not saying OP deserves either the bite or the suit, but it may not be as blatantly frivolous as it seems.
OP could also be making the whole thing up, Jane. The 'dog' could have been a terrapin. They could have been breaking into the house instead of 'running past'. It might be their own dog instead of their neighbour's. They could have been lying start to finish, and none of this is real. We can really only work with these stories on face value.
I know it's speculation, Zeb, but some FMLs seem less objective/more skewed in the OP's favor than others. While I realize the sheer stupidity of some people knows no bounds, and thus, the neighbor's reaction was quite possibly as outlandish as it seems, it does seem a bit far-fetched considering the info we're given. Putting forth another possibility in this example is, IMO, not much different than responding to a "Today, I found out nobody likes me" FML with "Maybe there's a valid reason for that."
#167 you are a complete moron. where are you getting $1M?! i hope to god you are a troll. people who are seriously and permanently disfigured and disabled would be lucky to receive half that. OP would get his medical bills paid for, MAYBE. in some states, an animal gets "one free bite" before liability is imposed on the owner to restrain them. in other words, if they've never been violent before, the owner wasn't negligent b/c he didn't have knowledge that the dog could become violent. so OP might not get nothing, or might get a few thousand to cover his bills. that would be it.
Wow.. That is messed up. They really don't have any reason to take you to court. It's not like you tried to break into her house. Some people are just dumb. Hope it turns out ok for you.
Check your local laws because I think whenever a dog attacks/bites a human they are required by law to be put down (I didn't feel like looking it up though, so I could be totally wrong), but you can definitely counter-sue her. Make her pay for your medical bills, and tack on some for emotional distress, juries love that. Either way, FYL for getting attacked by a dog.
You're right but not in all states; there could just be fines, restrictions, court orders, ect., but hopefully the dog won't have to be put down which I'm sure op doesn't want. She doesn't have any legal right to sue but op, you do... at least for your medical expenses and contrary to what someone said earlier, if you do file suit and win, they're required to pay your legal fees. Best of luck and I recommend trying to get some compensation for your expenses.
Not always. I live in FL and used to work for a Humane society. Repeat offenders are, but first timers aren't always unless the owner requests it or it is deemed too dangerous. That having been said, if a dog broke off the chain to attack someone, it probably would be deemed a dangerous dog and be euthanized. But I never worked on the legal side of it, so it's probably not my call.