My dog was attacked by a pit bull off leash in a dog park, Can I take the owner to Small Claims court for non payment of Vet bil

Asked over 2 years ago - Claremont, CA

tHE OWNER IS A 20 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO BROUGHT TWO PITS TO AN OFF LEASH DOG PARK. SHE WONT RETURN MY PHONE CALLS. I WANT TO HAVE MY 900.00 VET BILLS PAID FOR. CAN I SUE FOR ANYTHING ELSE THAT A JUDGE WOULD ALLOW EG: TIME OFF WORK, LEGAL BILLS ETC. THANK YOU

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can sue in small claims court for the $900 in vet bills.

    No, you cannot recover for your time off from work nor for legal bills if you sue in small claims court.

    Since pets are considered "property" of their owners under California law, you cannot recover damages for emotional distress.

    Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in... more
  2. Kevin Samuel Sullivan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . you can sue the owner in small claims court for the vet bill. You can try for the time off and legal bills but it is not likely that you will be awarded these. Good luck.

  3. Nicholas John Scardigli

    Contributor Level 9

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It is unlikely that you would be able to recover any damages other than your vet bills and the costs of the law suit (as opposed to attorneys' fees), especially in small claims court. I strongly encourage you to find out whether your local superior court offers any free small-claims clinics, and attend one as soon as possible.

  4. Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you can sue but you have a problem. Your dogs were in a dog park, most (at least where I live) are used at your own risk. Unless you can prove her dogs have a history of attacking other dogs you may be out of luck. You should file a report with animal control and/or the police.

    Also keep in mind that even if you do win a judgment you may never be able to collect the judgment. Winning and collecting are two entirely different things.

    If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.
  5. John Gus Zgourides

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In Texas you can sue for anything in small claims court, with a cap of $10,000. Look at your local small claims court's website.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more

Related Topics

Dog bites and injuries

The most common animal attacks are dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs. The owner is often held liable, although states vary regarding responsibility.

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