What to do if a friend was visiting in my home and her behavior provoked my dog and her dog to fight and she got bitten?

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What to do if a friend was visiting in my home and her behavior provoked my dog and her dog to fight and she got bitten?

She got in between them causing her to get bitten. She incurred hospital fees from this and is harassing me to turn this incident in on my homeowner’s insurance. Even as far as obtaining legal representation. I feel she provoked the incident and is seeking money. What are my options?

Asked on June 26, 2015 under Personal Injury, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are liable for your friend's injury because you are the owner of the property where the injury occurred.  Your liability includes the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and wage loss.

It would be advisable to refer the matter to your homeowner's insurance carrier.  Your homeowner's insurance should be informed that your friend provoked this incident.  

Most likely, the case will be settled with the homeowner's insurance.  If it is not settled and your friend files a lawsuit against you, you should assert the defenses of contributory negligence (your friend contributed to her own injury) and assumption of the risk (your friend recognized and understood the danger of being bitten by getting between the dogs she had provoked and voluntarily chose to encounter that danger and the risk of injury).


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