Visitor Question

Liability for Injury After Getting Bumped by a Dog?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

My dog was with my son and his friends in a leash free zone. My dog bumped one of the friend’s knees from behind. He was also on unstable ground. They said he slipped forward off a little hillock then fell back on his butt. They didn’t think he was hurt at all at first but then found he’d broken his leg.

Am I responsible for his hospital bills?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Anonymous (USA)

There’s a good chance you may be partially liable. Inasmuch as you make clear your dog was the primary cause of what turned out to a broken leg, you will suffer some liability. The apparent secondary cause was the unstable ground. This may be a case of comparative negligence.

To pursue a claim against you, the injured boy or his parents will have to do one of two things. They can ask you to pay the medical bills, or in the event you say no, they can sue you. That will be entirely up to them. If they do file a lawsuit you have a legal right to file an affirmative defense of comparative negligence.

If the boy’s parents pursue you it might be a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge for an initial consultation.

Finally, check with your homeowners insurance company. It is altogether possible this accident may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: April 21, 2012

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