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Our dog was recently viciously attacked while on a family walk. Is the owner of the other dog responsible?

Santa Clara, CA |

Our dog was recently viciously attacked while on a family walk. The owner of the dog failed to control her dog which resulted in many puncture wounds and profound surgery. More surgeries are to come and veterinary bills will exceed $10k as well as continued costs of specialized life-long care. The other party has admitted fault and already paid for the first couple invoices. Is the other party liable for all invoices relating to this attack?

9-1-1 was called and Animal Control case is open. The evidence of fault is clear. The fact that the dog owner has already paid several invoices underscores this fact.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Assuming the other dog owner was at fault for allowing his/her dog to attack yours, he/she should compensate you for all of your dog’s medical expenses. If the medical expenses are substantial, which it sounds like they are, you should consult with an attorney for further guidance on how to proceed. Good luck.

This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

"should" or "legally required" to compensate for all expenses? much appreciated.

Mariam Mary Margaryan

Mariam Mary Margaryan

Posted

Assuming fault is established, the dog owner is legally required to compensate you for all harms caused to your dog.

Posted

The answer is YES.. If she has homeowners or renters insurance her dog might be covered even she can't or doesn't pay the bills - she should report it to her insurance company

This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.

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Posted

Yes. You should submit a claim to the other person's homeowner insurance - with those kind of bills they are going to stop paying voluntarily. You may run into an issue however, given a dog is considered property. the law on property is the cost to replace or repair (not exceeding the cost to replace). this is always hard for people to grasp since many people consider the dog to be a family member.

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3 comments

Mariam Mary Margaryan

Mariam Mary Margaryan

Posted

Recent California cases have held that a pet owner is not limited to the market value of the pet and may recover the reasonable and necessary costs incurred for the treatment and care of the pet attributable to the injury.

Richard Andrew Harting

Richard Andrew Harting

Posted

Thats good to hear

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much...she is definitely our family member and we hope to resolve this without legal action.

Posted

The owner who failed to control her dog is liable for the cost of necessary medical care that resulted from her dog's attack on your dog. If she continues to pay the invoices, and you are satisfied with that, no legal action may be necessary. If legal action becomes necessary and if she has a homeowner policy, it is likely that insurance policy will cover the damage caused by her dog. I hope your dog is doing okay.

This post and any other internet postings are for informational purposes only. Internet postings are not legal advice. No comments, answers, or other postings should be taken as legal advice. Internet postings do not create an attorney-client relationship. Receipt or viewing of content of an internet posting does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. There is no representation, warranty or guarantee that postings or comments are accurate. Please feel free to give us a call at the office if you would like a formal case evaluation. Best of luck with your case. Talitha.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you Talitha -- could you point me to the section of California code that states this?

Talitha Davies Wegner

Talitha Davies Wegner

Posted

There is no specific code section. California Code is limited to human and livestock damage. However, your dog is considered property under CA law. As a result, you are entitled to reimbursement for damage to your property as a result of the attacking dog's negligence. Actual expenses are consistently awarded. There are some cases that address this sort of issue. (Roos v. Loeser, 41 Cal. App. 783 (Cal. App. 1919). , the court decided that the value was limited to the fair market value and related expenses of the dog. In Wells v. Brown, 97 Cal. App. 361 (Cal. Ct. App. 1950), The decisions out of California continue to recognize animals as property, and recovery at fair market value.

Posted

Submit claim to the owner's homeowner's insurance company to cover.

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Posted

It appears to me that you answered your question.

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