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I live in a 4 family and own a cat. My neighbor owns a Rottweiler mix. I was at my backdoor talking to the neighbor and her dog was next to her. The dog ran in my apartment and chased my cat. My cat was injured and I have a vet bill. My insurance is not covered but neighbor insurance covers. What do i do to get compensated and who is at fault?
Asked on December 18, 2016 under Business Law, Missouri
S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
Since the neighbor's insurance covers this situation, contact that insurance company and inquire what documentation in addition to the vet bill is necessary to file your claim.
The dog owner is liable for negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
A dog owner is liable for injury or property damage caused by their dog.
If the case is settled with the dog owner's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If the case is NOT settled with the dog owner's insurance carrier, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit against the dog owner for negligence. Depending on the amount of the vet bill, you may be able to file your case in small claims court. Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence) would be the amount of the vet bill. Upon prevailing in the case, you can also recover court costs which would include the court filing fee and process server fee. You can enforce the court judgment with a wage garnishment against the dog owner.