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This weekend we were at my parents house. Their 3 yr old German Shepherd (who has been around my 5 children 2-3 time a week since she has been born) bit my 10 month old son in the face. We still have absolutely no idea why, although we were all in the room we didn’t see the moment it happened). He ended up having emergency reconstructive surgery to fix his nose, lip and cheek. Although our health insurance will pick up the tab of the hospital and Dr. bills it will do nothing for pain and suffering, or for any future surgeries. *We were told he may have issues when he hits puberty although at that point it would be “cosmetic” and insurance would no longer cover it* So we were thinking of suing my parents, in which their home owners insurance would step in. I know people are thinking “suing your parents!” but they have said to do it, as they feel horrible and want to do anything they can to help ease the pain in all of this. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Could this be done without being horribly messy? We adore my parents and would never want anything to hurt that relationship, but if they are saying to do it, it is the only way we will get any type of reassurance that, God forbid he need future medical care we can cover it.
They are working class people who work very hard but don’t have a huge savings. A nose job, which is what the plastic surgeon said he may need, would be thousands and thousands of dollars. Everyone who owns a home pays for insurance, isn’t that what it is there for? We have 2 dogs and I upped the policy for that “god forbid” we ever need it….
Not sure what state you live in but where I am, yes you can sue for ANY dog bite, those that have bitten before are in a different class. Why was my child with a dog he has been with for 3 years? People are not bad parents because they let their children by family pets. Do you think I would EVER leave him by her now?

9 Thoughts on Suing my parents for a dog bite?
  1. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Why would your parents want you to sue them? If they feel bad and want to pay you, why don’t they just give you money? There’s no need for court.

  2. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    You would take your parents to court? The same people who raised you, cared for you, put up with all of your shortcomings, lauded you when you achieved, consoled you when you didn’t? Why in the first place was a baby in the first place? That’s probably what agitated the dog. I don’t think I would be able to live with the guilt of suing my parents after everything they put up with in raising me and everything they have done for me. But hey, that’s just my two cents. My advice is to find an alternate path that wouldn’t involve judicial measures.

  3. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    You can’t sue for future medical care cost, you can sue for the pain and suffering and then use that money to cover it.

  4. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    It would not have to be a lawsuit, you would just file a claim against the insurance company.

    You have no basis for a claim. Dog bite cases only get somewhere if the owners know or had reason to think the dog is dangerous. From what you say, that isn’t the case. So unless the dog was one to snap, bite, and growl, there is no basis. And if that’s true, they would argue that you should not have let your kid alone near a dangerous dog. It’s called assumption of the risk. Your kid could end up turning around and suing you when he’s 18.

    So you could take action against them, which will raise their premiums and likely get their insurance cancelled as long as they still have that dog. So then they would have to get rid of the dog. (Which maybe they should now that you know he isn’t safe around kids.)

    Start saving your money for that future. It’s quite possible that it will be covered with the health care changes that Obama and the democrats have put into place, if you can convince an insurance company that it’s reconstructive. You can also get it paid for if it affects your child psychologically.

  5. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    do it before Obamacare screws everything up. You never know what will happen in the future so take care of it now.

  6. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Wow, what a mess! It is a horrible situation but it happens a lot, unfortunately. We live in a country where it seems if you need anything done, you have to sue (take it to court). I feel bad for all of you! Your parents may say to go ahead, but if it gets ugly…then what? The damage would be done (in regards to the law suit) and you really do hope the relationship with each other can hold up or be repaired! I don’t know what to advise…it is a complicated situation to say the least.

  7. Reply
    dave d
    December 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Sue. It’s a win win. Even if the court made a judgment against them and they don’t pay you nothing will happen if you don’t chase the money.

  8. Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Just remember, if you do take it to court they will probably have the dog euthanized for being dangerious. Is this something that you could live with if it does happen?

  9. Reply
    Mr Warrior
    December 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Your not suing your parents.

    Your making a claim against their home owners insurance. Get your parents to check their policy, to see if it is covered in their insurance.

    If it is, your parents can make the claim. It may not be though. Not sure it would be covered as the dog, is not a registered occupant on their policies like they are.
    Thus its a breach of insurance to not divulge all occupants and potential hazards. A reason why they may not pay out or process the claim.

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