How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Brandon M. Your Own Question
Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12573
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
11182422
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Brandon M. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dog was bit by neighbor dog at their fence however my dog

Customer Question

My dog was bit by neighbor dog at their fence however my dog got off his leash. They scoffed briefly the neighbor went to vet I did not who is responsible for Bill?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: We agreed I would pay half then she changed her mind have a court date
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: Ready
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Good evening, my name is Brandon. I'm a licensed attorney, and I'm glad to answer your question. How were the dogs able to get to each other if a fence was between them?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

I apologize in advance if I ask any questions that seem unrelated to the legal issue, but it helps to understand the situation. Thank you for understanding.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The neighbor dog can get his head thru
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The fence
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That's all
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ready
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Is this a shared fence? Or does one household own it exclusively?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Its neighbors fence exclusively
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you. Has your dog ever bitten anyone or another dog in the past?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Well, here's the thing -- the dogs got into a fight through a hole in the fence. It's not clear to me how your dog would be at fault. The fence was owned by your neighbor, you had no knowledge that your dog would ever bite another dog or person, and I have to ask why your neighbor didn't patch the hole in the fence? I'm looking at this and, as described, it appears that your neighbor is solely liable for the result. I'm sorry that the dogs were injured in this, but it was the forseeable result of your neighbor not having the fence properly maintained, so what exactly is the theory for you alone having to pay the vet bills?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Dogs are dogs. They bite, they're territorial... but it's your neighbor's fence, the fight couldn't have occurred without her dog being involved, and they couldn't have made contact if your neighbor simply maintained her fence.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

So perhaps there's something that you haven't told me, but I'm just not seeing your liability based on the information provided. Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It's a wrought iron fence with about 6 inch gaps my dog had just been neutered and was wearing a cone on his face 12inchs in diameter she has 8 large dogs and they were all at the fence trying to bite
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for that clarification. Even with that information, I still can't see how total liability would fall on your shoulders. It's a little difficult to choose percentages without seeing the land, but I would be inclined to fight anything more than 50/50 liability.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was concerned about the leash laws we were walking him in the back yard my 4yr old took the leash off at the door when all 8dogs came outside like they do 4,5times a day their attitude is viscous with fence and each other
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My yard is not completly fenced in
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Your dog never left your private property, is that correct?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He crossed my immediate neighbor yard with no fence to the 8dogs
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Ok, I get the picture now. In which county did this occur?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Orange County My real concern going forward is my 4 year old and his friends who use mr immediate neighbors yard as an extended backyard to play in could be seriously hurt because the fence gives no protection from bites
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

One moment.. I am attempting to pull up the relevant Orange County ordinance for your review.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Orange County Ordinance 5-33(a)(1) reads: a)

Prohibition of animals at-large.

(1)

No domestic animal owner or person having charge, care, custody or control of any domestic animal shall permit, any domestic animal to run at large, upon any public property, or off the premises of the owner.

So if the dog ran off your premises, I could see that as an issue under 5-33(a)(1).

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what about the fence being secure for kids
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Does this mean I am liable for vet fees
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

I share your concern. Are your children old enough to know to stay away from the fence?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Based on what you've said, I see at least partial liability for the vet fees. That said, I'm still seeing that the dogs weren't properly secured. If that was a child, for example, liability on your neighbor would typically be clear. So although you may have been partially responsible for the injuries to your neighbor's dog, it takes two to tango, as the saying goes.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Son yes visitors ?? I'm in court tomorrow do I have a defense even if she said 50/50 onbills and then she changed her mind
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Will she admit that you had a 50/50 agreement?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My wife was there as a witness
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

A spouse is normally not considered to be a neutral party, so the credibility of her statements would not be given the weight that would come from a neutral third party. You could argue that you had an oral agreement for settlement, but unless it has been reduced to writing, you're facing an uphill evidentiary battle.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Cool my daughter was there too ??
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

It's the same issue with your daughter. Family just isn't credible in court.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is it appropriate for me to bring up the association rules that you can only have 3 dogs and 2 can be large she is on the board
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

If the association rule is in place to protect against this sort of situation, it could potentially show that her housing of the dogs was negligent in the context of your neighborhood. But if the purpose is just to keep the noise down or something else unrelated to what happened, then it wouldn't carry any weight.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Can I force her to make her fence to be more secure for kids i.e.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

It's not clear to me what the legal basis would be for better securing the fence. Liability would be clear if a child was hurt, but the animals are fenced and that seems pretty reasonable.

Before any other questions, I just wanted to check: have I been able to answer all of your questions to your satisfaction this evening?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It spacifically says 2large dogs only. What should my defense be Her honesty or a loving neighbor for 12 years
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She's wacko!!!
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

It would be irresponsible to suggest a defense before a civil complaint has actually been filed against you, but I might suggest that she contributed to the negligence by having too many dogs behind a fence that doesn't completely confine them.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Awesome I have talent and I will persue that angle just for the kids however just 2weeks after this she let one her dogs loose while walking one and it attacked me and my family at photo shoot in our front yard
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
In leashed??
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand the question?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
A few weeks after she took one of her dogs for a walk and let him of the leash the dog charge us while we were taking family pictures I had to to be defensive not to be bitten have pictures
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

I'm afraid that I understand what happened, but I still don't understand the question. I apologize.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She let h one of her dogs of the while walking in the neighborhood and it attacked my family
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have pictures
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Please phrase in the form of a question. Thanks :-)

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
A few weeks after she was walking one her dogs for what ever reason she took the dog off its leash and it attacked my family during a photo shoot I have a picture she is out there. Trying to make trouble it was scary. Advise
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you!