Do I have a right to sue someone if I was bitten by a dog?

Dog Standing in a Grassy YardIf you suffered injuries after being bitten by a dog, you might be able to pursue a claim under Virginia’s dog bite laws. However, you must also follow our state’s laws about who has standing to file a lawsuit if you must litigate your case.

What Is the Legal Standing to Litigate a Claim?

To have the standing, you must have the legal authority to sue the dog owner and any other negligent parties. If you file a lawsuit without standing, the insurance company will raise this as a defense. The judge could dismiss your case, and you would not be able to pursue your claim for compensation for your injuries.

Who Has Standing to Sue in a Dog Bite Case in Virginia?

You should consult with a knowledgeable dog bite attorney who can advise you on whether you have standing to sue and can file your lawsuit on your behalf. In general, here is who has standing to sue in a dog bite case:

  • Individuals over 18 years old. If you are a dog bite victim and are 18 years old or older, you have standing to file a lawsuit against the dog owner and any other negligent parties.
  • Minor child. Minor children under 18 years old do not have standing to file a lawsuit in Virginia. However, litigation can be filed through a “next friend.” The “next friend” must be an adult. They are usually the child’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Adult with a guardian. If an individual 18 years old or older has a legal guardian, the legal guardian would have the standing to file a dog bite lawsuit for them.
  • Deceased individual. If a dog bite victim died due to their injuries, certain family members could file a wrongful death action. The deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren would have standing to sue. However, if they were under 18, their “next friend” would have to file the lawsuit on their behalf.

If you or a family member were bitten by a dog in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, our experienced premises liability attorneys can file your claim and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about your rights and how we can assist you.