Dog killed by another dog on walk.

////Dog killed by another dog on walk.


My son took my dog for a walk. My dog was on his leash, but a big dog ran out of a neighbor's house and killed my dog. The house in question has no fence, so as soon as the dog got out of the front door, he had the run of the neighborhood. This dog has supposedly already bitten 4 people. What are my options? How do I proceed with a lawsuit? What kind of suit would it be?


I am very sorry for your loss. People whose animals are negligently harmed or killed can commence a civil lawsuit to try to get compensated although no amount of money can truly compensate a person for the loss of a beloved animal. If the “parent” of the attacking dog has homeowner’s or rental insurance, it is sometimes possible to settle a claim without the necessity of litigation. Courts have slowly but surely recognized the special bond between people and their animals. Some courts have awarded more substantial money than in the past, including for emotional distress and loss of companionship, in addition to what is known as economic damages, which include such things as veterinary expenses incurred in trying to treat the animal and the monetary value of the animal. Courts may consider whether the animal had special training or was an emotional support animal. People whose animals have been injured or killed by a dog can also contact animal control. A dangerous dog hearing may be held. “Parents” of dogs who are declared dangerous are ordered to take certain precautions, such as confining the dog, muzzling the dog in public, and obtaining liability insurance.

Dog bite liability laws vary throughout the country. Dangerous dog laws also vary from state to state and sometimes even among municipalities in the same state. Massachusetts’ law states, in part: “If any dog shall do any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or if the owner or keeper be a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for such damage, unless such damage shall have been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog…” ‘Dangerous dog’ is defined as “a dog that either: (i) without justification, attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or death; or (ii) behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death to a person or to a domestic or owned animal.”

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By |2024-03-26T09:25:14-04:00January 16th, 2024|