is home owner responsible if his dog attacks my dog

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is home owner responsible if his dog attacks my dog

I was walking my dog on a leash. She was sniffing their mailbox. Their dog ran out of his house and attacked my dog. I yelled and tried to separate / stop him. The owner came out. I fell down and owner wrestled/hit/yelled at his dog. Finally got his dog to let. I broke my wrist when I fell and my dog developed an infection from the puncture wounds. I would like for the owner to file a home insurance liability claim. Is this reasonable?

Asked on February 17, 2018 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can file a claim with the homeowner's insurance carrier.  You would have a personal injury claim and a separate claim for the vet bills for your dog.
Notify the homeowner's insurance carrier in writing that you will be filing the above claims.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and if applicable, documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the homeowner's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the homeowner's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the dog owner if this is the first incident of the dog attacking/biting.  If the dog has a history of attacking/biting, then in addition to negligence, include a separate cause of action (claim) for strict liability.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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