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Am I responsible for vet bills if my dog bit a small dog while I was out of town?

Eureka, MO |

While I was out of town for a few days my daughter's fiancé agreed to keep my rescue Lab/Huskey(?) mix. My dog was being walked on a leash when they stopped to visit the father of the man keeping my dog. I was told that without warning my dog bit the small dog. I was not there & don't feel completely responsible but I offered to go ahead and pay the vet bill partly to avoid hard feeling with my daughter's fiancé. I feel the adults present should be held responsible. The vet bill is $300. I feel by paying the entire amount I admitting responsibility and possibly opening myself up to further bills. I am a very responsible dog owner and feel this would not have happened had I been there. Any advice?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Report it to your homeowner's insurance carrier to resolve.

  2. You do not indicate the extent of the bite. Why do you think there will be more bills?

  3. If your dog bit the other, you are liable for a lawsuit. In Missouri, the value of an animal does not include the family's attachment to it, and there is no pain and suffering, but you can easily be sued for the vet bills. By paying the bill, you likely avoid a lawsuit and a lot of stress. Your homeowner's insurance may cover the amount, the question becomes whether it is worth turning it in and risking a higher rate.

    If you pay the bill, you are within your rights to ask for a release of liability from the other owner. That will stop further bills and cap your liability.

    While we hope this information is helpful and informative, it should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. Please contact us for a free consultation on your injury claim - there is never a fee unless we collect money for you.

  4. Settle it quickly and get a release.

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