What is my liability if f I was walking my dog on a leash and another dog owner intentionally came up to us to try to introduce our dogs and my dog bit his dog?

I was on my condo grounds and had my Pit-bull on a leash. Now he is coming back with a different story. Should I have a discussion with them? At this point I have only received an angry vague letter asking for money.

Asked on July 31, 2015 under Business Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally, you would only be liable, or legally responsible to pay, if you had some reason to know or believe that your dog was vicious, tended to bite, or even was in pain/distress that day (and so irritable and more likely to bite right then) but, despite knowing of the risk, did not take reasonable precautions, like muzzling your dog or warning the other person away. If there was no reason to suspect an enhanced likelihood of biting, you were not negligent or careless, did nothing wrong, and should not be liable.

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