Visitor Question

Loose pit bull attacked my little dog and I was hurt trying to save him…

Submitted By: Darlene (Oceanside, CA)

I was walking my 10 lb dog on a leash when a loose pit bull came out of nowhere and grabbed my dog as I was trying to pull him into my arms to protect him. I was involved in a ten minute struggle to save my dog’s life and in the process was bit and bruised several times on my hands and arms.

Unfortunately my dog’s injuries were too severe to save him, and I spent several hours in the ER. The attack was extremely violent and I am having moments of extreme anxiety and depression. I haven’t gone back to work yet (I am a dog groomer). I am not so sure I can continue in this field of work.

The owners of the dog lied and said they found it 2 weeks ago, but neighbors are saying the dog has been living with them for over a year. The humane society has the dog now. This happened New Years Eve. I am in California. The vet bills were $500.00 and my hospital bills around $1200.00, and I lost $300 in wages so far. What can I do?

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 Darlene,

You have every right to pursue the dog owners for compensation related to your injuries and those of your dog. From the facts you present, the owners of the pit bull were in violation of California law as the dog was not leashed.

Moreover, the owners were entirely negligent in permitting the dog to roam the streets, especially because of the dog’s propensity for violence. The owners knew, or should have known, the dog was a threat to the safety and well being of other dogs, dog owners, and pedestrians.

In many cases, dog attacks are covered under the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy. Contact the dog owners and ask them to submit a claim under their homeowners policy.

If they do, you will have a right to have your own medical bills paid, your dog’s vet bills, and related expenses for medications, costs of travel back and forth to the vet’s office, and your lost wages. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover pain and suffering. From all appearances you definitely sustained pain and suffering.

You also have the option of suing the dog owners in small claims court for negligence. From the facts you present, you and/or your dog did not contribute to the attack. You were truly innocent victims.

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: January 5, 2015

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