My cat bit my neighbor after her dog attacked it am I responsible for her medical bills?

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My cat bit my neighbor after her dog attacked it am I responsible for her medical bills?

My neighbor’s dog escaped her yard somehow jumped off their deck,
we think, and into my yard, and attacked my cat on our back deck.
I witnessed the attack and was able to stop it relatively quickly
by kicking at the dog. My cat took off running, however, and
ended up on my neighbor’s deck. Instead of having us come and
grab her, my neighbor picked up my cat. My cat was not seriously
injured, but did have 2 back claws ripped off and a large patch of
hair is missing from her back. She was terrified at the time, and
bit my neighbor on the hand. Now my neighbor feels that we are
at least partially responsible for her medical bills resulting
from the bite. I believe that it is solely her responsibility.
If her dog had not come on to my property and attacked my cat in
the first place or had she just refrained from picking up an
injured, terrified cat, the injury wouldn’t have occurred. She
is threatening to sue if we can’t come to an agreement. What does
law say? Are we, in fact, liable?

Asked on April 8, 2016 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a pet owner, you are liable for your neighbor's injury.  Your liability would include compensation for the medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the neighbor has a wage loss claim, you would also be liable for that.
A pet owner is liable for negligence for injury caused by the pet.


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