What can I do if a neighbor's dog bites our dog? 10 Answers as of May 26, 2015

Our neighbors dog physically broke through the bottom board of a wooden fence separating properties and bit our dog and now says because fence was rotten the landlord is responsible for half. Our dog had to go emergency vet bill $400. Their dog is a pit bull and ours is a schnauzer. Should the owner have to pay in full?

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Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Dog owner is responsible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/26/2015
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
Florida has a statute that says if someone's dog bites someone (or causes physical damage to another) then the owner is strictly liable. The owner of the dog should pay you for 100% of your dog's vet bill and then he can try to recoup half of it from the landlord himself.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/26/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Based on these facts, I think the owner of the pit bull should pay. If there was any negligence attributable to you, it would likely be small in comparison to that of the person who does not supervise his dog. Especially if the owner knew that the lower part of the fence was rotten. The adversary could say: If it really was rotten, and you know it, and you knew the neighbour's dog had violent proclivities, you probably should have taken greater precautions. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/26/2015
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
It sounds like you can look to the neighbor and his/her landlord for damages in Small Claims Court if they won't pay up. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/26/2015
Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
You can ask them to pay, or you can take them to magistrate court in the county where the incident occurred. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/26/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Absolutely.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/26/2015
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Yes, the dog's owner should have to pay in full, it was their dog who broke the fence. The fact that the fence was rotten is of no moment, as to impose liability on the landlord you would have to prove that there was reason he should have known that their dog would break through if he did not fix it.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Yes. The dog owner was negligent for allowing the dog to go into your yard and should have known that that type of bred would do so [you might want to ask the owner of the neighbor's house if his insurance excludes pit bulls from coverage so he gets the tenants and/or their dog to leave so the dog does not attack again]. The landlord might be negligent if he knew the board was rotten and there was a pit bull next door, but then the landlord of the other house might also be equally negligent. But in California, you have the the right to go after as many or as few of the negligent parties as you want; if a defendant thinks someone else also owes you money, they can sue that other person for contribution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    You should have executed it promptly in your yard. Report this to Animal Control which may yet put down the bad-breed dog. Let the bad dog's ownership deal with your landlord over the fence issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Yes. He is strictly liable for the actions of his dog.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/25/2015
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