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Who is liable for a dog fight through a hole in my neighbors and I's shared fence?

Roanoke, TX |

My neighbor has a blue healer and I have a Shepard/Boxer mix. They have been chasing each other up and down our fence line since we moved in. Her dog taunts our dogs by barking scratching, etc. at the fence any time our dogs our out. My dog listens very well and any time I see this behavior I call him back and everything is fine. A few months back her dog got into my yard and fought with my dog, but nothing major happened. We added a new fence to try to fix the issue. Well a few days ago, we were gone and apparently they got to fighting at the fence this time and caused another hole (too small to fit through). They fought through the fence, and my dog messed hers up badly. She is insisting we pay the $5000 vet bill. It’s horrible what happened but is it all my responsibility?

She has also told us if we don’t come up with the money by Friday she is going to file a suit. We originally talked about paying it until we found out the amount (we don’t have that kind of money laying around). We also told her that if she would sign a statement saying that just because we are paying the bill that we are not admitting to any fault. She said there was no way she would, but still wants the money. Im afraid that if we go ahead and pay she could come back and sue us anyways. We tried to claim this on our homeowner's insurance and they said they will not cover any part of it. We feel really bad for what happend and are good people, so we feel we should at least help with the damages. I just wanted to get some legal advice on what we should do. $5000 is alot of money. She has told us she will not sign any liability release, and we will not give her any money until she does. Any help would me much appreciated. Thank You

Attorney Answers 2

  1. It would be prudent to notify your homeowner's insurance carrier. However, there is some question of liability as to which dog dug under the fence; further, it seems that your dogs never left their property and the neighbor's dog again tried to enter your yard.

    Sign nothing until you have heard from your insurance carrier. If you fear to bring a claim, find an attorney through the TX or your county bar association.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

  2. I agree with my colleague - don't let her bully you. Contact your insurance carrier and advise them IN WRITING that you do not want the claim settled.

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

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