What will happen if my 15 year old neighbor entered my home without permission and my dog attacked him?

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What will happen if my 15 year old neighbor entered my home without permission and my dog attacked him?

No adults were in the home at the time. Am I responsible? My dog is being held at animal control and the fees are adding up.

Asked on July 7, 2013 under Personal Injury, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are liable for your neighbor's injuries because as the owner of the property you are liable for injuries to a trespasser.  The kid's personal injury claim filed by his parents   will include the medical bills and pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  It would be advisable to refer the matter to your homeowner's insurance carrier which can try to settle the case when the kid is released by the doctor.  If the case is NOT settled with your insurance carrier and the kid's parents sue you, your homeowner's insurance carrier will provide you with an attorney at no cost to you.

You can also sue the kid's parents for the kid trespassing on your property.  If the kid entered your house with the intent to commit a felony, you can pursue criminal charges for burglary.  For example, if the kid stole anything while in your house, pursue criminal charges for burglary.  The criminal case for burglary would be separate from your lawsuit for trespass.  If the kid damaged anything in your house, your lawsuit for trespass would also include a separate cause of action (claim) for trespass to chattel.  Trespass to chattel is the intentional taking or damaging of the personal property of another without consent or legal privilege.

Check with your homeowner's insurance carrier to see if your policy covers the fees you are being charged by animal control.

If those fees are not covered by your policy, you may be able to recover those fees in your lawsuit for trespass from the kid's parents.


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