Am I, as a homeowner, responsible for a dog attacking another dog.

Asked over 1 year ago - Woodland Hills, CA

I came home to find police down my street, didn't think anything of it. I look into my backyard and see one of my sister's dogs. I had no idea she was bringing her two dogs over to my house. I try to find the other dog and instead find that my fence has been broken through by this dog. I run down the street to find the dog being held by my neighbor and the dog is on a leash, badly beaten. My sisters dog had broken through my fence, attacked another dog (being walked on a leash on the sidewalk), and then to break up the dog fight it is said that four people were kicking and hitting my sisters dog.

I'm currently keeping in touch with the owner of the dog that was attacked, he has asked me if I have Home Owner's Insurance, which I do. Who is responsible? Me or my sister?

Additional information

Just an update. Filed a claim with our home owners insurance and they said that I am not liable and will defend me if need be. I'm glad that this is the case. Thanks for your time spent giving me these answers.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your sister.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  2. Michael Raymond Daymude

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . "Who is responsible? Me or my sister?"

    Your sister, as owner of the dog, is definitely responsible. Under the stated facts I do not see any liability on your part however I would report the matter to your homeowners' insurance immediately if a claim is made against you. Good luck.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
  3. Pius Joseph

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your sisters has liability for injuries to the other dog.Your liability will depend if you knew or should have known the propensity of your sister's dog and has permitted her in the past to bring her dog and this was something waiting to happen. A Call to homeowner's insurance will be in order.

  4. Paul J Molinaro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . "Who's responsible?" is one question and "Who's gonna get sued?" is another... one which has a larger group of people in the answer to the latter. One of the many factors an experienced personal injury attorney takes into account when sizing up a case is "where the money is." Should a biting dog's owner not have money or insurance coverage, secondary targets (defendants) get investigated such as the owner of the premises on which said bite occurred or the owner of the premises from where said biting dog escaped. Fortunately, a homeowner probably has home owner's insurance - and such a policy may cover the incident. If not, a lawyer may be needed to defend suit (should one come about).

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  5. George Costas Andriotis

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your sister is responsible.

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  6. Timothy James Ryan

    Contributor Level 5

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Unfortunately you have gotten thrown in the middle of this situation. Dog owner is always at fault and responsible. Unless the incident occurred on your property I don’t see any liability at this juncture. However to be safe put in a claim into your homeowner insurance.

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