My neighbor claims that my dog attacked her. There was no one around to bear witness. I don't believe she has any evidence of the supposed attack. Should I pay for her medical bills? Am I responsible for her getting "bitten" by my dog? For all I know, it was her dog that attacked her.
If you have homeowner's insurance turn the claim over to the insurance company and let them sort out the facts.
We have strict liability in Florida for dog bites, meaning that a dog owner is responsible for any damage their dog does to someone else. If you have homeowner's insurance, tell your agent about the claim and that insurance will probably cover it.
You need to do what you feel is right, but you must know that if your dog did bite her, she could file suit for payment of her medical bills, pain and suffering, and permanent scarring. Has she presented medical records to you that indicate she was in fact bit by a dog?
You should contact your homeowner's or renter's insurance company immediately and notify them about this claim. Failure to do so could allow them to deny coverage for this claim. If you do not have such insurance, you should contact an attorney immediately.
It is her burden to prove it was your dog that bit her, and that she did not trespass on your property or provoke the dog. If she is making a claim, and you have home owner's insurance, you should contact your insurance carrier, that is what you pay premiums for.
If you don't think it happened, don't pay. Even if you did, don't pay out of pocket unless you don't have medical payments coverage. If you have med pay, perhaps your insurance carrier will pay her bills through med pay coverage. Ultimately, doctors records will show whether she was bitten or not. Only question remaining would be whether your dog did it. If she tells you what happened and you believe her, submit the bills to your insurance carrier. If you think it isn't true, let your carrier know and they will handle it. Perhaps someone else saw what happened. Good luck.
You basically are asking two questions, which I will answer separately: Do you have to pay if your dog attacked your neighbor? If your dog attacked your neighbor and you do not have any defenses then you are responsible for your neighbor's medical expenses and other damages. The defenses you might have are: your dog did not attack or injure your neighbor; that your neighbor was trespassing on your property when she was attacked; that your neighbor intentionally provoke your dog into biting or injuring her; that your neighbor was playing with your dog and her injuries, other than a bite, were a simply a result of the dog's "playful or mischievous behavior." How do you know it was your dog that attacked the neighbor? This is really what evidence does your neighbor need to prove her case as your neighbor has the burden to prove that it was your dog that bit her. This is fairly easy as the woman could testify that your dog attacked her. This is sufficient to shift the burden to you to disprove what she said. Assuming there are no witnesses, either for or against you, you could have difficult disproving her story. One possibility is that if the woman says she was bitten by your dog and shows pictures showing very large bite marks and you have a small dog, then you could argue that your dog could not have caused her injuries. In addition, your neighbor would need to prove her injuries and damages (medical expenses). This again would not be very difficult. You would have to do what you could to attack her credibility. If there are different stories or testimony, ultimately a judge or jury is the ultimate decision maker as to who they believe. If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance I would suggest contacting them as soon as possible so they can handle the case, including making your neighbor prove she was attacked, and, assuming she was attacked by your dog, pay her any money she is entitled to.
Since you indicate there was nobody around to witness the alleged attack, your neighbor has no one who can contradict her claim that it was your dog that bit her, and presumably the doctor that treated her would be able to confirm that the injuries are consistent with a dog bite. Those 2 facts together would be sufficient proof to establish the dog attack. Without knowing all of the circumstances, like where your dog was at the time of the attack, and where your neighbor was at that time, it is difficult to state one way or the other whether you "are responsible". Also, whether your dog has ever bitten someone before is a critical factor. However, assuming that the dog was loose and the neighbor was in a place that she was entitled to be- say on the sidewalk or her yard, then you very well may have responsibility. It would be wise to seek the assistance of an attorney to review the facts and circumstances to determine what your level of risk is regarding the medical expenses.
If you have homeowners or other non-automobile liability insurance coverage, you should put your insurance carrier(s) on notice of the potential claim. You are now on notice that your dog may attack someone. You have a duty to take precautions to prevent your dog from leaving your property or otherwise having the opportunity to attack again.
The proper answer depends on the amount of the medical bills. If they are substantial, I would forward them to your homeowner's or renter's insurance company. If they are below your deductible, I would work out a deal with your neighbor if she can provide proof that it was your dog that did the damage. Keep in mind, dog bites are treated very seriously by the law in Wisconsin. If you had notice that your dog had bit somebody before, you could be on the hook for twice the amount of damages plus other sanctions as well.
You must notify you insurance company right away or risk losing coverage. Let them handle it.
If your dog has a vicious propensity ( attacks, fights, etc) you will be held responsible if you do not control the dog I don't know how you deal with the he said, she s aid part of it.. if your dog is mean, pay the bills and avoid the issue.
If you believe that your neighbor is lying about the bite and has no injury, it doesn't make much sense to voluntarily pay her. She would have the burden of proof at trial if she sued you. If she has no apparent injury, she has nothing to recover. If she has an injury but you don't believe it was your dog, the issue comes down to who a jury would believe. She can testify that your dog bit her and if the jury believes her, they could award her money. If your neighbor has a serious injury and you simply don't know whether your dog was the culprit, you should consider contacting your insurance company (many homeowners and renters policies cover dog bites) to see if they will help you. If you think it's possible that your dog bit her but you are not sure, you could try to compromise with her.
You can be held liable if it can be shown that the dog was vicious; that it bit or threatened someone before or was known to be difficult to control or of a mean temperment. If you have homeowners insurance, there may be a medical payments provision which could cover the medical expenses regardless of liability. Otherwise, whether you "should" pay is one question, whether you are legally obligated to is another. It sounds like she would not be able to prove a case against you, but since she's a neighbor, maybe you would rather buy your peace.
This claim should be submitted to your homeowner's insurance carrier.
You may be liable, depending on a number of factors. If you have property insurance, you can submit a claim to your carrier. Evidence of the attach would include medical bills, a bite mark. In civil cases, the plaintiff is required to prove liability and damages by a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard that beyond a reasonable doubt which applies in criminal cases. Call you insurance agent and see if you can get this claim covered.
If you believe your dog attacked her then sure pay her bills - and get rid of the dog.
It is easy to prove by the bite mark if it was your dog. Juries give good verdicts against homeowners who do not keep their dogs chained.
Tell her to write her story under penalty of perjury of the laws of California. Tell her that means it is a crime if she doesn't tell the truth. Tell her you need all the medical bills. See if any doctor links her "injury" to any possible dog bite. If your dog did bite her, your liability depends on facts you haven't presented. Work it out depending on how you feel about the situation.
If your dog attacked her, you are responsible. If her bills are small, you might offer to pay them, but insist on a written release releasing you from any further liability. This should end the matter. You coiuld wait and see if she sues. If you own a home, your homeowner's insurance should cover it and defend the suit.
Your home owners Insurance will cover her claim and defend you . Your neighbor must prove her case. If she wins you will be responsible for medical bills but also pain and suffering. If you have no insurance you must balance the cost of fighting and maybe winning vs. Settling now.
Call your homeowners insurance to settle this case. If you don't believe your dog did it, why pay.
You can't prevent her from suing you if she truly wants to take such a course of action. However, you can make sure she proves her allegations.
Legally speaking, she would have to be able to PROVE that it was your dog that caused the injuries. Has your dog ever attacked anyone before? Typically, you won't be liable unless your dog has previously attacked someone and/or is known as a "vicious" dog (e.g., pit bull, rottweiller, chow, etc.). If she is expecting you to pay the bills and you do not believe you are responsible, you should speak with an attorney in your city who is familiar with the laws regarding dog bites.
In Arizona a dog owner is strictly liable for a dog bite for one year after the incident occurs. If you have homeowners insurance you could turn this claim over to that company. If you want to try to resolve it yourself, then the damages that could be claimed by your neighbor are past and future medical expenses, any lost earnings and general damages for pain and suffering and scarring, if any. Whether you believe your neighbor is up to you. If you think your neighbor cannot prove that your dog was the biter, then you would not be responsible for any damages. But if your neighbor testifies that it was your dog and that testimony is believed, then your neighbor will win and you will be responsible for the damages listed above. If the dog bite occurred more than a year ago and has not been filed in court, then the elements of the claim change and it becomes more difficult for your neighbor to prove his or her case, but it is still possible in the second year. If the claim is not filed in court within two years of the bite, it is too late, and the claim will be dismissed.
In Utah, the owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for all injuries caused by the dog. However, the injured person is required to prove that it was that dog which injured them. Your homeowners insurance might have coverage for this, call them and make a claim. If there isn't coverage, consult an attorney.
You should not pay her. You should submit the claim to your insurance.
If someone was bitted or attacked by your dog, you could be held responsible. If you have homeowners insurance you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to place them on notice of the incident before a lawsuit is brought. Some insurance policies carry medical benefits that would protect you. If you believe that your dog did attack the neighbor, you could be held accountable. TO be accountable your dog must be of a kind that has a dangerous propensity and had attacked others before.
Call your home insurance company and report the claim to them. Yes, you are responsible for damage your dog causes and I seriously doubt her dog bit her.
Report this to your homeowners or renter's insurance company. They will represent you.
You don't have to do anything but if you settle with her get a release. Or wait for her to make first legal move.
You may be able to submit this claim to your insurance company for handling and possible payment. Did your dog exhibit any tendency for viciousness? What were the circumstances of the neighbor encountering your dog? Was your dog roaming around freely? These and other questions may be pertinent to determine if you have any responsibility for the claimed injuries.
Turn the claim into your homeowners insurance company and let them investigate the claim. You may not be liable and she may not be able to prove her claim.
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