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If my neighbor’s dog attacked my dog on my property but she won’t pay the vet bill, what is my recourse?

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If my neighbor’s dog attacked my dog on my property but she won’t pay the vet bill, what is my recourse?

My neighbor’s dog escaped from her house through the front door without her knowledge and attacked my dog on my property. Now she is refusing to pay for the vet bills. She does not own the house; it is owned by her mother but the mother does not live there. Do I take my neighbor to small claims court or do I go after the owner of property?

Asked on June 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would file one lawsuit naming both the dog owner and the property owner as defendants.  Your lawsuit would be for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner/reasonable property owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of the vet bill.  Your damages should also include court costs such as the court filing fee and process server fees.

 

 


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