Visitor Question

Knocked down by dog while biking…

Submitted By: Susan (Filer, Idaho)

I was biking on a country road (southern Idaho), when a dog I hadn’t even noticed tore across the road out of the driveway of a house and ran into the side of my front wheel.

I was going about 15-20 mph, and of course, totally crashed.

A man came out of the house and helped me call 911. I described the dog to him, and he said it sounded like his dog; the dog was no longer in sight.

I ended up with a broken pelvic bone.

A police officer responded to the accident, but because the EMTs were treating me, I never talked to him, and I don’t think he issued a citation to the owner. I am looking into that right now. Can I get the dog owner(s) to cover my medical bills? What if they are only renters and don’t own the home? Do I have any other options? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Susan,

Idaho does not have a state-wide leash law. Nor were we able to find a dog leash law for the city of Filer, Idaho. As a result, the dog owner could not have been issued a citation for failing to leash his dog.

However, the lack of a dog leash law does not excuse the dog owner from liability for your injuries and related costs. The dog owner’s liability will be based on the legal theory of negligence.

While Idaho and the City of Filer do not have a dog leash law, this does not excuse the dog owner from taking reasonable action to ensure his dog didn’t cause undue harm or injury to third parties.

In this case, it seems clear the dog owner’s failure to leash the dog constituted negligence. As a result, the dog owner should be liable for your damages. This can include your medical and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and for pain and suffering.

If the dog owner is not the homeowner, the homeowner will not be liable for your injuries. The homeowner didn’t own the dog, nor did the homeowner have control over the dog.

Homeowners insurance sometimes covers injuries caused by the homeowner’s dog, and dogs owned by family members who live in the insured’s home.

You have a couple of choices:

First: Contact the dog owner and tell him you would like him to pay your medical bills and related costs, such as medications and lost wages.

Second: Retain a personal injury attorney and pursue the dog owner for additional damages, including compensation for your pain and suffering.

Keep track of your medical bills and records, receipts for out of pocket expenses, and any other expenditures directly related to the dog attack. You will need them in the pursuit of your injury claim.

Learn more here: Non-Aggressive Dog Injuries

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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