My dog bit a neighbor 6 months ago, now he's claiming medical issues?

by Kelly
(Descanso, CA)

My dog Daisy is a sweet, non-aggressive Australian shepherd, who loves everyone except our neighbor. We don't know why she doesn't like him. No one on our street likes him. He drives so fast down our street that every single one of us have asked him to slow down and he won't.

I believe it was late August 2015, my neighbor was riding his bike down our street and Daisy ran up to him and bit him. It surprised me because Daisy is so sweet. Then a couple days later, he said she bit him again. I really don't know if the second claim happened or not.

He called us 2 days ago and said his bite won't heal and he wants us to pay for his gas to go to the doctors to have it checked. Rich, our neighbor, said he has a condition where he has this swelling on his legs and he wears compression socks to limit the swelling. He claims that when his leg swells, his bite breaks open.

My question is, are we liable for giving him what he wants? The bite happened in August 2015 and 2 days ago was the first time we heard anything from him about his issues. I don't know if he's telling the truth or if he's just trying to get money out of us. Also, is there a statue of limitations where dog bites are concerned?

Thank you so much!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My dog bit a neighbor 6 months ago, now he's claiming medical issues?":

Kelly (Descanso, CA):

From the facts you present it appears your neighbor has a very weak case. To have any chance of prevailing in a personal injury claim against you, your neighbor must have medical proof directly linking the dog bite to his injury, and it's alleged exacerbation.

It appears your neighbor has a preexisting injury which causes his leg to swell. It is arguable the "preexisting injury," and not the dog bite represents the present claim of injury.

To support his injury claim will require medical proof the dog bite was the "direct and proximate cause" of his injury or it's exacerbation. That will require a trip to the doctor and medical tests directly linking the injury and it's alleged exacerbation to the dog bite. It is unlikely a doctor will draw such a conclusion.

Your neighbor's apparent belligerent behavior is clearly difficult to deal with. However, the behavior will be irrelevant in a personal injury claim.

The Statute of Limitations for personal injury claim in the State of California is two years from the date of injury or one year from the date the injury was discovered. Read more about California’s Statute of Limitations here.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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