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Who Has the Financial Responsibility to Pay Vet Bills When One Dog Bites Another Dog?

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2022 | Personal Injury

California has what is known as “strict liability” laws which instruct that pet owners are fully responsible for their dog’s actions. However, strict liability laws do not apply when it comes to one dog biting another dog. In these types of cases, the owner of the dog that was bitten must be able to demonstrate that the other dog owner was negligent in their responsibility and that the negligence led to the bite.
In many cases, a dog biting another dog is triggered by an owner who does not obey leash laws and allows their dog to run free. If their dog bites another dog, they are responsible for paying the vet bills.

What Types of Damages Can I Recover if a Dog Bites My Dog?

California statutes classify a dog as property. Under the law, if another individual damages your property, you can file a claim to recover the value of the loss. In many cases, dog owners have successfully recovered financial compensation for the money they had to pay out when their dog was injured by another dog.
In cases where who pays for vet bills may be in dispute, it is best if you speak with an attorney and find out your legal righteousness and options. Our law firm is always happy to answer any questions that you may have about who may be financially responsible for your dog’s injuries.

What Happens if the Dog Owner Refuses to Take Responsibility?

In some cases, the owner of the other dog may decide that they do not want to take responsibility for their dog’s actions. Although this can be extremely frustrating, you do have two options. First, you could file a claim through your insurance company in which they would assess your request and process it by the terms outlined in your individual policy. You can also seek to recover damages against the other dog owner in small claims court by filing a claim against them.

Does a Dog Have to be Euthanized if it Bites Another Dog?

No one wants to think that a dog may have to be euthanized for biting another dog. However, California law instructs that euthanasia is only required after a dog bite if it is found to be true that the animal tests positive for rabies or has bitten at least two other individuals. In addition, if the dog has bitten and seriously injured an individual or if the dog was raised for the primary purpose to fight other dogs or attack people. Unless the dog has rabies, a hearing must be held to determine the dog’s fate, at which the owner is permitted to give testimony as to why their dog should not be euthanized.

How Can I Find More Information About Dog Bite Liability?

Depending on the severity of the wounds your dog has sustained, your vet bills may begin to add up to a significant amount of money and create a financial hardship for you. If another dog has bitten your dog and you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney to help you recover the money for vet bills and other medical expenses related to the injury, contact our law firm by calling 310-774-4260 and ask to schedule a free consultation.