Son jumped neighbor's fence and got bitten by their pit bull...

by Michele
(Pensacola, FL)

My son was playing around the house and jumped over the neighbor's fence to get his ball. Their dog was chained up in the back yard. The dog bit my son's leg and he had to get at least 25 stitches.

Is there any way I can get my son's medical bills paid? Can I sue my neighbor if my son jumped their fence and got bit by their pit bull? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Son jumped neighbor's fence and got bitten by their pit bull...":

Michele (Pensacola, FL):

I can only hope your son's injuries heal quickly, and with as little pain and discomfort as possible.

Getting your neighbor to agree to pay for your son's injuries may be a challenge. From the circumstances it appears your neighbor did everything reasonably possible to protect your son from harm. This includes having the dog fenced in and chained. There doesn't appear to be any evidence of negligence.

You have a couple of options...

First: If your neighbor has homeowners insurance and will agree to give you the insurance company's contact information you can file an injury claim. Under the Medical Payments, or "Med Pay" section of your neighbor's homeowners insurance policy the insurance company will pay up to $1,000.00 dollars in medical benefits (more if your neighbor purchased higher limits).

With Med Pay, negligence doesn't matter. The mere existence of an injury is sufficient for the insurance company to pay the claim. If this is the first Med Pay injury claim on the policy, it's unlikely your neighbor's insurance premium will be raised.

Second: If your neighbor won't cooperate you can file a lawsuit. To be frank, unfortunately your case appears very weak and it's unlikely you will win. But, if you make clear to your neighbor your intention to file a lawsuit, your neighbor may relent and cooperate in the filing of a Med Pay injury claim.

If your neighbor doesn't carry homeowners insurance you have no other viable options.

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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