What Are Your Rights In Serbian Legal System When You Are Bitten By a Dog?

The Bite Of a Stray Dog

When bitten by a stray dog, there may be material damage (eg torn clothes) and non-material damage in the form of suffered mental pain, physical pain and fear. In these cases, non-material damage is far more important since it is usually much higher than material damage.

Cities and municipalities in the Republic of Serbia have paid out as much as 25 million euros for compensation due to the bites of stray dogs in six years, while in the foreseeable period the number of compensation requests from citizens could reach 20,000 per year. When you add to this the fact that citizens are victims of falling into a shaft, a hole, on snow or ice, higher figures are obtained in which there is a basis for compensation to the city or municipality.

When a dog bite happens, many people do not know what their rights are, especially if it is a dog that has no owner. Do they have the right to compensation and who should they turn to?

The Right to Compensation For Damages

The victim of a dog bite has the right to compensation. Damage caused can be:

– material damage – in the form of costs for medical services and treatment depending on the severity of the injury, destroyed clothing, etc.
– non-material damage – in the form of compensation for the fear suffered by the victim, mental pain, physical pain, etc.

What Is the First Thing To Do When Bitten By a Dog?

If a dog bite occurs, the victim will immediately contact a doctor who will examine him and provide him with the necessary medical assistance. It is good to emphasize that it is a dog bite so that the doctor can state this in the medical documentation.

Also, the injured party will be instructed to receive a tetanus shot, which will also be recorded in the medical report.

If it is a stray dog, it is necessary to report the case to a public company in the territory of the city or municipality where the bite occurred so that they can go out into the field.

If there are people who witnessed the event, it would be good to ask for their phone number and address, so that they can be contacted later to participate in the proceedings as a witness.

Likewise, it would be good to photograph the resulting consequences of the bite (injuries, hematomas, etc.) immediately after the bite, which could later quickly disappear or diminish.


If there is a dog bite, first of all it is necessary to determine whether it is a bite from a dog that has an owner or a dog that is a stray.

This is important because it depends on the responsibility for the resulting damage.

– if the injured party was bitten by the owner’s dog – the injured party turns to the owner for compensation. The owner of the dog is responsible according to the principles of objective liability.
– in the case of a stray dog bite – the responsibility falls on the local self-government, i.e. the city or municipality on whose territory the stray dog bite occurred. The local self-government is responsible because it did not previously take the necessary measures to take care of the stray dog in order to prevent an unfortunate event.

If a stray dog bite occurs on the territory of the City of Belgrade, the City of Belgrade and the public utility company responsible for the city area are responsible.

If the bite of a stray dog occurred in the area of another place, then the municipal i.e. city administration and the public utility company in that place are responsible.

Compensation For Dog Bite

In case of initiation of out-of-court proceedings, it is currently the practice to wait from a year to a year and a half for the resolution of these requests. Compensation offered to injured parties is between 10,000.00 dinars and 30,000 dinars in cases where the injuries are of a more serious nature. This money is paid from the city budget. You can immediately notice that the amounts paid to injured parties are very low due to the current economic situation and politics.

The amounts awarded by the courts in the case of filing a lawsuit are significantly higher. For example, it often happens that for injuries for which e.g. the city offers 10,000.00 dinars (light bodily injury), in court you can get 80,000.00 dinars to 130,000.00 dinars. Injuries that occur during bites usually have the nature of light physical injuries, although in cases of more serious attacks or attacks by several stray dogs, they can be serious and even life-threatening. In the case of serious bodily injuries, the compensation that can be obtained in court ranges from 200,000.00 dinars to several hundreds of thousands, depending on the severity and consequences.

Were You Bitten By a Non-Stray Dog?

And there is a solution for such situations. Also, it is very important to contact the competent medical institution so that the injured person can be helped as soon as possible, that is, so that the wound can be repaired in the best possible way. If you decide to start a procedure for the compensation of non-material damages, contact your lawyer.

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