Can I sue a dog owner if their dog viciously attacked mine?

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Can I sue a dog owner if their dog viciously attacked mine?

My dog escaped from my yard and was badly attacked by a pitbull who was also out from his yard.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Personal Injury, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Possibly. Generally speaking, if someone is negligent, or careless, in restraining, confining, etc. their dog and another person or animal is injured as a result, the injured party could sue for compensation. However, in this case, you would also be negligent in that your dog escaped, and your own negligence could reduce both your chance of winning and what you could recover. In addition, the most you could recover for a lawsuit like this is either 1) the actual medical costs for the dog; or 2) the monetary value of the dog (if it had to be put to sleep)--there is no "pain and suffering" recovery with a dog. It is therefore unclear whether it would, especially in light of the likelihood that you, too, would be considered negligent as well, be worthwhile to pursue a lawsuit, though in theory you should be able to sue.


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