Roselle, IL asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Illinois

Q: My pit got off his leash while walking run up to another dog, the other dog (pit) badly injured my dog Who's at fault?

Her dog would not let go of my dogs neck.

My dog ran home which was two houses down from the incident with the dog attached to him.

Neighbors came out trying to help get the dog off of mine.

I have paid her vet bill 1,200

And mine which has cost me about $4,000 and his wound count take up to 6 months to heal. Which means more vet visits

I believe it was my fault because my dog got off his leash. I paid her vet bill but now she is saying She hurt her finger on the leash from trying to pull her dog back.

Do I owe her anything else?

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Your instincts are correct. Your dog got out of its collar and caused injury to the other dog. When your dog got out of its collar, it was out of your control and any injury or damage that resulted is your responsibility. If the woman who was walking the other dog injured her finger, you are responsible for that as well. You should not have "paid" for anything but rather, you should have turned this into your homeowner's insurance or your renter's insurance.

If the woman's finger was injured, she will be entitled to her medical bills and "pain-and-suffering." Medical care for humans is far more expensive than it is for canines and "pain-and-suffering" is a concept that does not apply to injuries unless they are sustained by a human. Again, the best thing that you can do is to turn this into your insurance company which is what should have been done, immediately. If your dog has one or more previous incidents of causing injury or damage that you did not report to your insurance company, they may deny coverage because you failed to advise them that this was a higher risk animal (by virtue of the prior incidents). The fact that it is a pitbull is also important because many insurance companies either charge a higher premium or refuse insurance to individuals who choose to own this breed. Good luck.

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