What Happens If a Dog Comes in My Yard and My Dog Attacks It? Will I Be Held Liable?
Owning a dog can be rewarding. There's the companionship and love that dogs often provide and the assurance that they deter potential thieves. However, it's important to understand the legal implications when a dog attacks another dog.
What does the law have to say when a homeowner's dog attacks someone else's beloved pet? This article will delve into the legal implications and consequences when a person's dog attacks their neighbor's dog and How much compensation can you get for a dog bite?
What Happens If a Dog Comes in My Yard and My Dog Attacks It?
The short answer is that property owners are generally liable when their dog attacks another dog. The first thing that pet owners need to understand is that dogs are considered "personal property" in the majority of states.
This means that if a dog attacks a neighbor's dog, this can be considered damage to personal property and should be handled accordingly. The owner of the dog will be legally liable if something they own causes harm to someone else's property, whether on their property or at a dog park.
Pet owners must always ensure that their dog is properly trained and does not end up causing harm to someone else's dog. However, it's important to remember that certain exceptions will exist, which will be discussed later in this article.
What Consequences Do Dog Owners Face?
The other dog owner may file a claim for their damages, resulting in financial consequences. Unfortunately, the financial losses in this situation might add up.
It can include medical fees, surgical costs, and other expenses associated with the injury. Training costs may also be part of the damages if the dog in question is a service animal. Fortunately, because the incident took place on the dog owner's property, it's likely that their homeowner's insurance will cover the cost of liability.
Exceptions to This Rule
While this rule will generally stand and dog owners are often held liable, every situation is different. There are cases where the property owner will not be held responsible if their dog attacked another dog. The section below will discuss these exceptions in greater detail.
The Dog's Owner Was Trespassing
Suppose the other dog owner was trespassing on a person's personal property. In that case, the homeowner will not be held responsible for the injured dog, as trespassing is a criminal act, and the dog was protecting its territory.
The Dog Acted in Self-defense
When another dog enters a dog owner's property and starts to attack it, or the owner taunts or teases it, the attack may be viewed as an act of self-defense, which relinquishes the pet owner from any liability.
Steps That a Dog Owner Can Take in the Aftermath of a Dog Bite
Proving that the other dog owner is responsible is no easy task and will require the help of a reliable personal injury attorney. However, there are steps that dog owners can take to prove that their own dog acted in self-defense.
Write Down Important Information
While things are still fresh in their minds, dog owners are encouraged to write down details relating to the event. Whether the other dog owner decides to pursue damages or not, it's important for dog owners to have a written account of the incident that can later be used to identify key evidence.
As time passes, pet owners may not recall certain details, and by writing things down shortly after the incident occurs, they can ensure that no important information is lost. It's also a good idea to take photos and videos that can be used as evidence.
The next step that a homeowner can take is to collect any evidence that can be used to prove that the owner was trespassing or taunting their dog. Surveillance footage, photographs, witness statements, video footage, and more can be used to prove that a dog owner is not liable for the resulting damages.
Try to Resolve the Issue with the Other Dog's Owner
Before the matter reaches court, a dog owner can try to resolve the issue with their neighbor. They could offer to pay veterinary bills and other damages that resulted if their dogs attacked another dog that got into their yard.
File a Claim with Their Insurance Company
Insurance companies often offer coverage for liability, so if the issue cannot be resolved, then the next step would be for the dog owner to file a claim with their insurance provider.
Contact a Reliable Dog Bite Lawyer
A knowledgeable dog bite lawyer will be well acquainted with dog bite laws in the state and can provide expert advice and guidance on how to proceed with the case. They can handle any negotiations and ensure that the dog owner's rights are protected at all times.
Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
If a dog owner has an aggressive dog or one that is particularly prone to biting, it's important that they take the relevant actions to prevent a dog attack. Dog bites can cause serious injuries, which is why it's important to ensure that there are measures in place to keep other dogs away from a dangerous dog and keep neighbors informed if their dogs have a tendency to jump over their fence.
Suffering Injuries Caused by Dog Bites? Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Here to Help
The truth is that dog bites can have serious consequences. They often lead to lacerations, nerve damage, head injuries, and more, in addition to emotional trauma, leaving victims reeling. These injuries can result in hefty medical bills that can plunge an entire family into financial strife. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help you navigate situations like should you choose a structured settlement as well.
Fortunately, dog owners in Tennessee can be held liable for failing to properly control or restrain their dogs. To learn more about how to hold pet owners liable for their injuries, victims are encouraged to contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial attorneys, who will stop at nothing to secure a favorable outcome and get them the compensation they deserve.