In a dog injury case, fault is established through strict liability. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction ASAP. Meanwhile, here is an article on dog bite and dog injury cases.
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved chihuahua. More recent case law in California treats dogs as a family pet and not merely as property of the owner. You should consult with a lawyer that handles dog attack cases and discuss your case in more detail to determine if you have a claim against your neighbor. Good luck.
Your father certainly can sue. He needs to document all costs, from the broken fence to the value of the dog, and review the facts with an attorney familiar with CA case law regarding valuation of pets. Be sure and get copies of the reports to AC and the police.
The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Your father is entitled to recover damages for the loss of dog. Although dogs are generally considered as a personal property and their value is based on replacement cost, dogs which have special abilities or special training such hearing or seeing eye dogs will have far more value than the typical family pet or therapeutic dog. Your father’s “healer dog” was most likely a dog with good temperament and companion skills that had no special training to perform assistance tasks. If such was the case, compensation for loss of the dog would be relatively minimal.
LICENSED AND ACCEPTING CASES IN CALIFORNIA & UTAH - 911LAW.ORG - Former Judge Pro Tem in California Superior Court. CALIFORNIA PERSONAL INJURY CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY LAWYER. ST GEORGE UTAH PERSONAL INJURY CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY LAWYER. Attorney responses are provided for informational and educational purposes only and do not create an attorney client relationship. Such responses represent the attorney’s initial analysis based only upon the facts set forth in the question. Since the question may not include all of the facts or omit material facts or timelines which could affect the attorney’s conclusions, attorney responses should not be construed as legal advice for any particular set of facts but only as a preliminary opinion.
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