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Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide basic personal injury advice to my clients in my own practice.
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My dogs got out and one of them got into a altercation with

Customer Question

My dogs got out and one of them got into a altercation with another dog which was on a leash, i went home and found the humane society officer and talked to him. he stated my dog just got into it with another dog. i asked did he bite anyone? he said nope just a dog fight. i then looked at my dog and she was beat up pretty bad. later the guy with the other dog (blue) went to the doctors and said he was bit, i seen the guy right after the fight and no bite marks where on his leg or knees just 2 abrasions when it looked like he scuffed his knees on the concrete. he never mentioned a bite. the doctor said there was a bite on his right knee. turns out the owner of the other dog (blue) breaking up the fight between the 2 dogs. My question is am i liable for his injuries if he put himself in danger?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

The answers that I will provide will not likely be favorable, so i ask that you do not blame the messenger. I happen to be a dog owner myself and absolutely understand this situation from all points, but I must focus on legal duties and obligations.

Owners of dogs have 'strict liability' when it comes to the actions of their pets. That means that the owner is always liable for damages unless it can be shown that the injury took place at your home or where the other person placed themselves at risk. Here, such argument cannot be made. Since your dog got out and broke his containment, and was involved in a fight with an another dog, the other owner has the right to stop the fight (as his dog is his property, and he can protect his property from this attack). Since your dog bit him when your dog was outside and not within his own space, you are responsible for injuries, and you are therefore liable for that person's medical bills provided that he can prove that your dog caused the bite.

I am sorry!

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well could a argument be made that when he was in between both of the dogs his dog could of bit him, or CA is a comparative negligence state there for he put himself in harms way?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

This is not such an issue. Notice that I stated that you have 'strict liability'. There is no comparative negligence here. The courts have ruled against pet owners where the other party injured themselves getting away from the animal (and not even being directly harmed) because you as owner are responsible for any harm your animals do, directly or indirectly. If this attack took place inside your home and this person was a trespasser you would have some protection, but as your dog got out and attacked another, you are liable, and no comparative negligence argument can legally save you from liability.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
alright then what would be my best defense? or am i f**ked? lol well should i use the house insurance?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You have no real defense here. It is best to try to negotiate and settle, or contact home insurance to have them settle on your behalf. My apologies on being blunt, but that is the cheapest outcome for you.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well the dog wasnt his property, it was his daughters if that makes any difference. well shes trying to collect on his behalf, i apid for her dog bills i believe the matter should be settled with him am i correct?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

It does not make a difference. Your dog allegedly bit him, so you are responsible. It is not settled until he signs something in writing stating that by receiving the funds, he agrees to formally release you from any present and future additional injuries or costs that he may bear in this situation. Otherwise paying for his medical bills does not mean that he cannot later pursue you for other alleged medical bills, or for pain and suffering from the bite.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

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