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Iowa Dog Bite Lawyer

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, or elsewhere in Iowa, an Advocate is here to help.

A Dog Bite Attorney Can Help Your Case

As much as we love our furry friends, there is always some risk whenever humans and dogs exist in the same space. Even a dog that is normally docile is capable of attacking humans in stressful situations.

Dog bites can result in severe injuries, emotional trauma, and seemingly never-ending medical bills. After being bitten, it may feel like life will never be the same.
The personal injury attorneys with The Advocates have been helping dog bite victims for more than 30 years. We are here to listen to your story, help you access medical care, and provide you with fierce, competent representation.

If you or a loved one have experienced an animal attack due to someone else’s negligence, you need a skilled attorney for your personal injury claim. Contact the Iowa dog bite lawyers with The Advocates today for a free consultation.

The Next Steps In Your Case


Immediately after your accident, check for injuries

Hire Attorney

Contact The Advocates as soon as possible to begin the road to recovery


Seek medical attention as soon as you can

Medical Records

Keep track of all treatment you receive

Treatment Complete

Once you've completed treatment, your case can move forward


Your Advocate will send a demand letter to the other party

Frequently Asked Questions

Consultations are always free. You will pay nothing to speak with an attorney to discuss your case.

Additionally, The Advocates work on a contingency basis. This means that there are zero upfront costs to hire an attorney. The eventual fee you will pay your attorney will be calculated as a percentage of your settlement. Our fee will come out of that settlement, not your pocket.

Not every accident requires an attorney. However, if the accident resulted in injuries or significant property damage, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process, which can be lengthy and complex.

Your attorney will build your case, keep track of your medical records, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Studies have shown that accident victims who hire a personal injury lawyer can receive settlements up to 3.5 times larger than if they settled on their own.

The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with an attorney. The Advocates offer free consultations—you can speak with a qualified legal team to understand what your case is worth without paying a dime. Once you have decided to hire an Advocate, we will investigate your accident to firmly establish liability.

Every personal injury case is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to accident claims. The length of the claims process will depend on the severity of your injuries, the willingness of the other party to settle, the court’s caseload, and more.

In general, personal injury cases can take anywhere from several months to a few years. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get your case started. Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases, after which you will lose your right of action.

When you hire The Advocates, we will begin investigating your accident immediately while you finish medical treatment. Once all evidence and medical records have been compiled, your attorney will send a demand letter to the other party’s insurance company. At this point, negotiations will begin. In many cases, a settlement can be reached during negotiations.

If the other party refuses to make a fair offer, you may choose to file a suit. In the litigation phase, your attorney will represent you in court in front of a judge, jury, and/or arbitrator.

We Get Results

$500 Million

In Settlements

A Team of Legal Professionals Assigned to Your Case

For nearly 30 years, The Advocates have helped thousands of personal injury victims receive the compensation and care they deserve after their injuries, and we are prepared to do the same for you. 

We can help you:

  • Understand the claims process
  • Investigate your accident
  • Build your case
  • Negotiate with insurance adjusters

You only pay if we win your case!

Talking to a Professional

Talk to a professional

Iowa Dog Bite Statistics

Several people pet a golden colored dog

Iowa dog attack statistics

  • There were six fatal dog attack incidents in Iowa between 2010 and 2022
  • It is often assumed that large dogs, such as pit bulls, rottweilers, and German Shepherd Dogs are the most aggressive breeds. However, Chihuahuas, cocker spaniels, and terriers also make the list.
  • More than 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room as victims of dog bites every single year.
  • Dog bites are particularly dangerous for children and elderly people, who may lack the strength and speed to get away from the dog.

When do dog bites often occur?

Any dog has the capability to bite or attack unexpectedly, but certain situations present a much higher risk than others. Dog bites are most likely to happen when:

  • A dog is approached by a stranger: When approaching a dog you don’t know, it’s important to ask the owner of the dog if the dog is friendly and if it is okay to approach.
  • A human breaks up a dog fight: If two or more dogs are fighting, it may feel instinctive to jump in and break it up. However, this puts you at risk of being seriously hurt, even if the dog is one you know. There are safe ways to break up a fight without becoming physically involved.
  • Aggressive dogs are unsupervised or unrestrained: Dogs without excellent recall training should always be on-leash and under close watch of their owner when in public or around other people and dogs.
  • Dogs are not properly trained and socialized: Dogs who have not received the socialization they need may bark, lunge, and bite when stressed.
Two dogs play with each other at the dog park

Common dog bite injuries 

A victim of a dog bite may suffer serious injuries after an attack. Some common injuries resulting from dog attacks include:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Eye and face injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Bruising and lacerations
  • Tissue and nerve damage

Iowa Dog Bite Laws

Women welcomes a leased black dog on the sidewalk

Do dogs have to be on leash in public spaces?

In general, leash laws are left up to local governments. Different jurisdictions have different laws regarding the leashing of dogs on public property. 

Des Moines: When on the owner’s private property, dogs must either be restrained by a leash or fence, or be under voice command of the owner of the dog. When not on the owner’s property, dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet.

West Des Moines: No animal may be permitted to run at large in West Des Moines. Animals are not considered “at large” if they are on a leash of no more than 10 feet or are immediately obedient to voice control of a responsible person.

Iowa City: All dogs and cats must be restrained on a leash not longer than 10 feet and under the control of a competent person, unless confined on their owner’s property or in a vehicle.

Dog owners are responsible for knowing the local laws and ordinances regarding pet ownership.

Are dog bites covered by insurance?

In most cases, dog bites are covered by renters’ or homeowners‘ insurance policies. The dog owner’s insurance should pay for bite victims’ medical expenses up to the liability limit. After the limit has been reached, the owner of the dog is responsible for additional damages.

Photo of renter's insurance form
aggressive black dog is held back by owner on a leash.

When is a dog owner responsible for a dog bite attack?

Iowa is known as a strict liability” state. Strict liability law means that a dog owner is responsible for a dog bite under the following circumstances:

  • The bite occurs in a public place
  • The bite occurs when the victim is lawfully on the owner’s property or other private property (for example, mailmen or invited guests)
  • The owner’s property had something that may entice a child to enter it, (known as an “attractive nuisance,”) and the child was bitten by a dog after entering the property 

Whether the dog has a bite history or is known to be a dangerous dog is irrelevant under Iowa law. The owner of a dog is responsible the first time their dog attacks.

If the dog bite victim was involved in an unlawful act, such as trespassing on private property, at the time of the attack (and no attractive nuisance was involved), the owner of the dog is typically not liable for the victim’s injuries.

What is the statute of limitations for dog bites?

For any personal injury case, a plaintiff only has a certain amount of time to file their claim. After that time period is up, they lose their right of action. This is referred to as the statute of limitations.

In Iowa, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally two years. It is a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after you have been bitten, in order to have the best chance at obtaining a settlement.

Attorney hovers pen over legal paperwork.

Why Should I Hire an Iowa Dog Bite Attorney?

If you or a family member have been bitten by a dog in Iowa, you may be dealing with pain, emotional anguish, and high levels of stress. It’s easy to feel hopeless while looking for a way forward.

To make matters worse, the at-fault party’s insurance company will likely do everything in their power to prove you had some responsibility for your injury. They will try to avoid offering you the compensation you deserve.

The Iowa dog bite attorneys with The Advocates injury law firm have years of experience representing injury victims and negotiating with insurance providers. We are prepared to take on all the stresses of your dog bite claim so that you can focus on feeling better.

From the moment you contact us, we are here to help every step of the way. Our number one priority is your peace of mind. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. You deserve an attorney who cares about you and your family. You deserve an Advocate.


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