Who Is Liable If My Dog Is injured?

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Who Is Liable If My Dog Is injured?

Depending on the state you live in, a dog owner may be able to recover some compensation when someone injures his dog. A legal claim can be brought against anyone who intentionally or negligence causes injury to the animal.

Intentional Injury

Anyone who intentionally injures a dog will most likely be liable for the damages unless there is some exception. Exceptions include a person protecting himself for being attacked by the dog or where a farmer shoots a dog to prevent the dog from killing his livestock.


When a person negligently or recklessly injures a dog, he may be liable for the injury. For example, if a driver was speeding across an intersection and accidentally hits a dog while the dog was leashed, then the driver negligently caused the dog’s death.

What If the Dog Owner Was Partially Liable?

If the dog owner is partly responsible, then whether he or she can recover damages depends on the state.

If the state follows the contributory negligence rule, then the owner cannot recover anything if he was found to be at fault for any amount. If the state follows the comparative negligence rule, then the owner will recover the amount of damages depending on the extent of the negligence.

For example, if a dog was hit by a speeding car, the court may find that the driver was 70% responsible for the accident and the owner was 30% responsible for not keeping the dog on the sidewalk. In a contributory state, the owner recovers nothing. In a comparative state, the owner will recover 70% of the damages because he himself was 30% negligent.

Consulting an Attorney

If your dog was injured due to the negligent or intention actions of another, then you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer. Your can help you negotiate an appropriate settlement amount or go to court to resolve the matter.

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Last Modified: 05-28-2015 12:03 PM PDT

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