Liability When a Dog Attacks You While out Running

For many, going out for a jog can be a great hobby as well as a way to get in that crucial daily dose of fitness. It is a healthy way to deal with stress and can leave you feeling great. However, like any activity that puts you out in the world, it also puts you at risk for certain dangers, namely dog attacking if you happen to run across a loose and unattended dog.

Unfortunately, most runners cannot simply outrun a loose dog. While most dogs only have an average run speed of about 20 miles per hour and humans can in theory run faster at their maximum speed of 28 miles per hour, most joggers aren’t exactly Olympic-level sprinters and often end up injured if they try. Furthermore, often the sheer act of running is a trigger for a loose dog. All dogs have an instinct to chase, so if they see someone running, it could very well trigger that instinct. If there is nowhere to hide, a jogger won’t outrun a dog and the attack could be devastating.

If you encounter a loose dog, especially if you are jogging at the time, you need to take the proper precautions. The first step is to always be aware of your environment. There can be a huge difference between an unexpected dog attack and one where you at least were afforded the chance to defend yourself if you could not avoid the encounter. Furthermore, if you spot a loose dog, it may be better to slow to a walk and keep a good distance between yourself and the animal.

Unfortunately, not all dog attacks can be avoided. If you are a jogger and you were attacked by a loose dog, then the owner of the animal maintains liability for your injuries. A dog is their responsibility and they were responsible for making sure it was safely detained to their yard. If you had been trespassing on their yard, then the owner doesn’t have the same liabilities for dog bite injury. However, if you were in a public space and the dog left their yard to attack you, then liability is very straightforward.

However, liability can be more difficult to place for dogs that are technically classified as strays. As the dog technically belongs to no one, it may be difficult to receive compensation for your injuries. This is why it is so crucial for joggers to be aware of their surroundings and avoid any and all loose dogs while on their run. There is a chance that these loose dogs don’t have owners, and if you get attacked, no one is going to pay that bill except for you.

While you may not feel particularly bad about getting compensation for your injuries from the owner, you may also wonder what will happen to the dog. Dogs are animals and are prone to the occasional animal behavior. For most dogs, they will be put on a list, and providing they do not attack anyone else for the next three years, they will be removed. However, if the attack was particularly vicious and a substantial amount of injury occurred, the dog may be euthanized for public safety.


Have you been hurt in a dog bite accident while running or just otherwise out in the world? If you have been attacked by a dog that was the responsibility of another, then you deserve compensation for their negligence. Contact us today to see what Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins can do for you in order to help you get the compensation that you need for your injuries.

Posted  by Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins