If my dog started a dog fight but the other dog caused his own owners injuries, who is in charge of his medical expenses?

My dog pulled the lease out of my hand and ran for another dog. The other dog was a pit bull and had my dog by the neck so the pit bull’s owner saved my dog’s life by sticking his hand in the pit bull’s mouth, thus injuring his hand. The pit bull owner wants to sue for his injuries. Who should pay?

Asked on May 17, 2017 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are liable for the pit bull owner's injuries because as a dog owner you are liable for negligence for not controlling your dog.
But for your dog running toward the pit bull, the pit bull owner would not have injured his hand by interceding. Interceding was a foreseeable response.  Therefore, your dog is the actual and proximate cause of the pit bull owner's injuries which establishes negligence on  your part.
Your liability includes the pit bull owner's medical bills, pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills and if applicable, wage loss.


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