If my dog bit another dog at a family party. am I responsible for the vet bill?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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If my dog bit another dog at a family party. am I responsible for the vet bill?

We were at a family party. I walked into the back yard with my dog and 2 dogs that were already there rushed my dog and my dog bit one of them. None were on leashes. The dogs did not know one another

Asked on August 23, 2011 Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether you were at fault in some way, which in a case like this would generally depend on whether you were negligent, or unreasonably careless. So if 1) your dog was not on a leash, so that's why it was able to bite the other dog, that might be enough for liability; also 2) if your dog had a history of biting, so you shouldn't have brough it, that could result in liabilty. On the other hand, the liabilty of the other dog owners could offset or reduce your liability, or even eliminate it, so in your favor, for example, is that the other dogs were unleashed, too.

In short, it depends on all the facts. There are scenarios under which you would be liable; and scenarios under which you would not be.

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