“I Was Bitten by a Client’s Dog – Do I Qualify for Workers Compensation?”

Some jobs may put you at more unconventional risks than others, such as the risk of getting bitten by a client’s dog.

No, it’s not just delivery people – it’s anyone who works with animals, or is required to make house calls for clients.

If your line of work requires you to visit a lot of homes recurrently, and during one of said house calls the pup gets a bit too territorial and attacks, you may be wondering if workers’ compensation will cover your medical treatment.

Let’s dive deeper into this question.

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What Does the Law Say?

Per Missouri worker’s comp laws, you may get medical benefits and time off work for any injury or illness sustained at work, or caused by a work-related activity. Based on this principle, a dog bite injury is perfectly eligible as long as you are working at the time you get hurt.

Some scenarios could include:

  • Your job directly involves working with animals in some way (grooming services, for instance)
  • Making a house call
  • The client brings their dog to the office

As long as you were on the clock, and performing a work-related activity, worker’s compensation benefits generally apply. To get it, you need to file an injury report with your employer and wait for further instructions on which doctor to see for treatments. 

When a Dog Bite Isn’t Compensable 

There could be some instances where getting bitten by a client’s dog cannot be compensated by this program. Again, it’s about where you were, and what you were doing at the time of the accident.

If, for instance, you go to the client’s home after your work hours, then any injury sustained at this time is generally not eligible, unless you were specifically instructed by your employer to make this house call at that time. 

The same may apply if the client’s dog bites you while on a break, and thus outside of the scope of employment. If you choose to take a lunch break and go to a restaurant, run into a client, and their dog bites you, that injury is generally not eligible for worker’s compensation.

When the injury isn’t compensable under this program, however, you may still recover damages by filing a personal injury claim. Pet owners are legally liable for their pets and have a responsibility to ensure they do not harm anyone. By law, if a dog bites you, you can file a personal injury claim against the dog owner and collect damages.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

If you have been injured by a dog bite, whether you were on the clock or not, our workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys are here to answer your questions. Based on the details you provide, we can help you figure out if you have a case, as well as file a claim and ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

Call (314) 361-4300
Updated: March 11, 2022