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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 102601
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My dog was involved in an altercation which left the other

Customer Question

My dog was involved in an altercation which left the other dog injured. My dog was leashed and on the street. The other dog came out of its yard and ran under my dog's legs, at which time my dog reacted. I offered to pay the vet bill, but I'm getting the impression that the owner of the other dog filled out a police report, presumably claiming that my dog attacked their dog unprovoked. The way I'm reading that PA dog law, it was their legal responsibility to keep their dog in its yard (or at least under control, meaning it couldn't run out of its yard and under my dog's legs). What action can I take to make sure that my side is documented?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Dog law is focused more on when a human is bit. In dog versus dog, the doctrine of negligence controls. Pennsylvania uses modified comparative negligence doctrine. This means that Plaintiff’s negligence will diminish, but not bar, his recovery, unless he negligent more than 51%. 42 P.S. § 7102.

In other words, the Court would look to who had what fault. If you were at 33% and he was at 67%, then you could recover 67% of your damages (medical costs). Because he was 33% negligent, he cannot recover any. That may also be flipped as well.

If the dog ran out from their yard and attacked first, they (arguably) bear the bulk of the negligence (at least 51%) and should not be able to recover.

At this point, it is your word versus theirs. Someone in your situation may wish to find witnesses to record their statements and names/contact information in case there is court, who can confirm that their dog began the fight.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!