Question: Can I sue a family member over a dog bite attack in Virginia?

Answer: “You can sue a family member over a dog bite attack.  There is no legal bar to suing a family member.  The victim must be comfortable with that decision and how it may impact their relationship with the family member whose dog attacked them.”


After the Attack

  1. Seek medical attention immediately. You do not know whether or not the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. Even if they have, you are still at risk for infection. As well, it is important that your injuries are documented by a medical professional should you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
  2. Report the incident by calling the the police or your local animal control unit. It is very important that the incident is documented by authorities. In addition, the dog will need to be quarantined to monitor for rabies.
  3. Take photos of your injuries. Be sure to take photos of your injuries right after the attack, and continue to take photos through the healing process. This will be important evidence for your case.
  4. Contact a Virginia dog bite lawyer who is experienced with dog bite cases to help you get the best possible settlement.

Compensation for Victims

Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may be entitled to the following compensation:

  • Pain and suffering: This is the right to compensation for physical pain and suffering and mental anguish you have suffered and could possibly endure in the future.
  • Loss of Earnings: You are entitled to recover for the loss of earnings which you suffered from your injuries.
  • Future Loss of Earnings: If your injuries have prevented you from your ability to earn income in the future, you can recover damages for the value of the reduction in earning capacity with reasonable probability which will occur in the future.
  • Disfigurement: If the injury causes scarring or other unsightly marks, the victim is entitled to recovery for the disfigurement. Because these injuries are often in very visible places, victims are often very self-conscious of their appearance.
  • Children are frequently bitten in the facial region and require plastic surgery.
  • Medical Expenses: Damages include any sort of medical expenses that a victim has had to pay for at a hospital, clinic, or to a pharmacy.
  • Wrongful Death of a Loved One:  Fatal dog attacks don’t happen very often, but when they do occur, they’re always incredibly tragic. No one ever expects to lose a loved one in such a violent way. The Virginia wrongful death statute allows certain family members of the victim to file a claim on the behalf of the deceased.

Time Deadlines for Virginia Dog Bite Claims

In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In many cases, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances apply and can alter that deadline.  It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident to protect your rights.

No Legal Fees Unless We Win

We understand that the fees associated with a lawsuit can be a barrier to justice, and we believe that everyone should have a voice when it comes to asserting their rights. Corporations and insurance companies have tremendous resources, and our No Fee Promise levels the playing field.