Legal Question in Personal Injury in Virginia

Dog Bite - Reimbursement for Vet Bill

A neighbor's dog was in my fenced backyard on their way to a common area in back of my house. The dog had recently been adopted and had never been off-leash outside. They took the dog off-leash in my backyard prior to getting to the coomon area to see hoe she would respond. After less than a minute the dog came over to my dog who was playing with their other dog and bit her in the front paw. It required staples for the 3 punture wound. a month after this occurred and that had had ample opportunity to offer to assist withe bill, I asked them for half of the vet bill ($200) as a term of settlement. Their response was ''if you wanted the money , all you had to do was ask''. Three weeks passed and still no action on their part. A few days ago I asked them to let me know by today their intent/decision on the vet bill but no response.

Do I have the right to sue them in small claims court for the full amount? Is their something I'm missing that relieves them of liability for their dog since it occurred on my property?

The dog came after my dog again while out for a walk which prompted my first request for half of the bill. She also went after another neighborhood dog as well as snapped at a child. Thus the dog has been put to sleep.

Asked on 9/29/08, 2:14 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: Dog Bite - Reimbursement for Vet Bill

You should send formal written notice to these tortfeasors for full payment by a date certain for your damages you've incurred from their rogue animal.

Then if they fail to comply, file your case in small claims court against them, attaching a copy of your demand letter to the warrant in debt.

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10/06/08, 11:43 am

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