Are the peoples dog whom attacked my dog obligated to pay the vet bills?

Asked over 1 year ago - Brooklyn, NY

My boyfriend was walking our beagle and while he was peeing this guys female pitt bull mix ripped 5 inches of skin from my dogs chest. The muscle was exposed. The skin was nowhere to be seen. My dog was just using the bathroom . Both dogs were on leash.it happened so fast . The other dog owner said that their dogs never done this before but it did some $5000 worth of damage. Which we can barely pay for. They said they'd pay half but I need them to do better than that.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Dean P Murray

    Contributor Level 18

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have to prove vicious propensities. It may be easier to prove considering the dog involved was a pitbull. This excerpt from New York Jurisprudence, Second Edition may prove helpful to you:

    "While some courts have suggested that the vicious propensities of certain animals are so well-known as to be almost a subject of judicial notice, there is no authority for the proposition that judicial notice may be taken as to the ferocity of any particular type of domestic animal or pet. [See Sorel v. Iacobucci, 221 A.D.2d 852(3d Dep't 1995)]. The New York Court of Appeals has refrained from holding that any particular breed or kind of domestic animal is dangerous, nor has it held that male domestic animals kept for breeding or female domestic animals caring for their young are dangerous as a class." See NYJUR ANIMALS § 164.

    Personally, I like your chances as a plaintiff.

    IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You... more
  2. Michael J Palumbo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a small claim case and they are liable. That said, it may be better just taking what you can and running.

  3. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Since the viciousness of the attack can be evidence of the vicious propensities, you have a good chance of prevailing.

  4. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have to prove the owner had proof their dog had vicious propensities.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  5. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Small claims ct

  6. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is not a personal injury claim, but actually one for property damage. Speak with a general practice attorney.

    Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. The response herein is not legal advice and does... more
  7. Marco Caviglia

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I suggest you first get your half before actually starting any legal action for the other half. Any lawsuit will have to sound in negligence as the owner would most likely deny any knowledge of vicious propensity, the latter which should be checked with local animal control records.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for... more

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