There has been a lot of attention given to dangerous dogs because the sheer number of dogs in the US (75 million) increases the risk of dog bite injuries to people. However, there isn’t much said about what can happen when a dog causes injury or death to another dog. For some people their pets are very important as any member of their family, and in others a pet is the only family they have. It could be argued that the emotional and mental anguish of the loss or injury to a pet could be comparable to the pain and suffering dog bite attorneys routinely address in their cases.
What The Law Provides
In some states, the dog’s owner is responsible for the actions of the animal whether or not there is knowledge of dangerous behavior or there has been a previous incident of biting. When a dog attacks a human and it leads to serious injury or death, the owner could face criminal charges unless the human had been trespassing or engaged in a criminal act. The victim of a dog bite may seek monetary compensation for damages under these circumstances, but what about damages when another dog is the victim?
In most cases, the courts would allow a lawsuit seeking compensation for the following when the dog bite victim is another dog:
- Treatment costs in case of injury
- Market value of the dog
- Special value
- Mental or Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
There is no cut-and-dried method for determining the “special” value of a pet. In certain states, there is no explicit mention of such damages, and it is up to the courts to decide on the amount of compensation on a case-to-case basis. If you have lost a pet, or had a pet injured by another dog, it will be up to the a dog bite attorney to assess how much compensation you can reasonably expect for the injury to your dog.