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Thread: OT a bit.. but question regarding being attacked by a dog

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    I know this is off topic a bit, but I could really go for some advice. I know there are a lot of forum members on here who are familiar with the law, so here it goes.

    I'm sharing a house with my brother. Yesterday we got a package delivered to our house, and the mailman accidentally dropped it off at the wrong house. It was addressed to the house with the exact same house number, but our street is "place" and it was addressed to "street".

    My brother decided to go drop it off at the right house. He was going to leave it on the front patio. He had to go through a gated fence to get to the front door. The door is on the opposite side of the yard, so he had to have walked across the yard to get there. Halfway through, the home owners St Bernard came running around from the corner of the house (coming from the back yard) and jumped up on him and attacked him. The dog bit his neck and missed his jugular by only 1/3 an inch. He started bleeding profusely.. and then all of a sudden the home owner came running out in a bath robe and called his dog off and called 911 immediately. The medics came and took him to the hospital.. he ended up getting a few stitches in his neck, and it could have been a very serious injury had it been 1/3 inch closer to his jugular. Now, my brother has no medical insurance, and I know he's going to be getting a huge bill from the hospital.

    The home owner not only had a gated fence, but my brother had to unhook the latch, and there was both a "No Trespassing" sign and a "Dog on Premises" sign. My brother assumed the dog wasn't around because he didn't see him and didn't know that the front yard connected to the back yard.

    In this situation, do you think the home owner can be held liable for any hospital bills? My brother wasn't trespassing unlawfully.. he was delivering a package to him that he had. My brother said he isn't even going to attempt a law suit because he blames himself, but I hate to see him get a medical bill for thousands and thousands of dollars for trying to do a good deed.

    By the way, we live in Washington State.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Sucks. I think he was in the wrong though. If I took the time to put up a gate and no trespassing sign, that means I don't want stranger at my door.

    I hope he heels up well and chalk it up as a learning experience.
    Legally I think the gate has to be locked, even with a no trespassing sign, but I could be wrong. The dog sign though was the additional warning.
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    Don't matter !! I thinkThe homeowner is still liable, he would be better off turning it in to his Homeowners insurance than going to court and possibly losing. judgement would be reliant on your town ordinances.

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    sudden valley gunner wrote:
    Sucks. I think he was in the wrong though. If I took the time to put up a gate and no trespassing sign, that means I don't want stranger at my door.

    I hope he heels up well and chalk it up as a learning experience.
    Legally I think the gate has to be locked, even with a no trespassing sign, but I could be wrong. The dog sign though was the additional warning.
    Sorry to hear about his injury, but I agree with the above. Should have called the USPS to come pick it up and give it to the correct address.
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    Carnivore wrote:
    Don't matter !! I thinkThe homeowner is still liable, he would be better off turning it in to his Homeowners insurance than going to court and possibly losing. judgement would be reliant on your town ordinances.
    Nope.

    (2) If a dangerous dog of an owner with a prior conviction under this chapter attacks or bites a person or another domestic animal, the dog's owner is guilty of a class C felony, punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she was in compliance with the requirements for ownership of a dangerous dog pursuant to this chapter and the person or domestic animal attacked or bitten by the defendant's dog trespassed on the defendant's real or personal property or provoked the defendant's dog without justification or excuse. In addition, the dangerous dog shall be immediately confiscated by an animal control authority, placed in quarantine for the proper length of time, and thereafter destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.

    (3) The owner of any dog that aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of any human, whether or not the dog has previously been declared potentially dangerous or dangerous, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a class C felony punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the human severely injured or killed by the defendant's dog: (a) Trespassed on the defendant's real or personal property which was enclosed by fencing suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping and marked with clearly visible signs warning people, including children, not to trespass and to beware of dog; or (b) provoked the defendant's dog without justification or excuse on the defendant's real or personal property which was enclosed by fencing suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping and marked with clearly visible signs warning people, including children, not to trespass and to beware of dog.




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    yeah.. i'd hate to say it, but it looks like my brother is most likely going to have to pay his own bills. the fence was a fully enclosed 6' fence with a gate and a latch at the very top of the gate, on the home owners side. basically, he had to reach his arm over and unlatch the gate. who would have ever known a simple good deed would result in this mess

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    U8Dust wrote:
    yeah.. i'd hate to say it, but it looks like my brother is most likely going to have to pay his own bills. the fence was a fully enclosed 6' fence with a gate and a latch at the very top of the gate, on the home owners side. basically, he had to reach his arm over and unlatch the gate. who would have ever known a simple good deed would result in this mess
    That sucks, but if you have to reach over a 6 foot fence to unlatch it, maybe they don't want you to unlatch it.

    Hopefully the fees aren't too bad and maybe the home owners will be nice and help a little.

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    U8Dust wrote:
    yeah.. i'd hate to say it, but it looks like my brother is most likely going to have to pay his own bills. the fence was a fully enclosed 6' fence with a gate and a latch at the very top of the gate, on the home owners side. basically, he had to reach his arm over and unlatch the gate. who would have ever known a simple good deed would result in this mess
    Heck, there are some homeowners who would see your brother doing what he did and ..... well, they would shoot him! So, at least that didn't happen.

    Still, it was a terrible thing for your brother. He meant no harm, he meant only to do the guy a favor. But he put himself in a very vulnerable position.

    This is one of those situations: nobody did anything wrong...yet it turns out bad for everyone.

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    "OT a bit.. but question regarding being attacked by a dog"

    No pun intended, I'm sure.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Just keep the next delivery mistake for yourself... kinda like a gift from the post office ferry, save em up for a while, and see if the neighbor comes a knocking.

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    Actually, HankT, the brother did do something wrong. he violated a no tresspassing sign. That is (in most places) a criminal misdemeanor. If the sign says stay out, best you abide by it.

    Respectfully,

    Pol

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    I worked as a courier for about 7 years, and often was detailed to deliver to residences. And if a sign said "Beware of Dog", then I beed ware of the dog, yo; and called it in. Sometimes they would tell me to leave it wth the neighbor, and I often wondered if the neighbor would wind up getting bit.

    Well, this answers my question. :shock:

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    Disregarding who's at fault, hospitals have various programs to help defray costs and a grant system to help cover the expenses. I had to use them once so contact the billing department for assistance once the first bill shows up.
    Perhaps if you would use a real computer you wouldn't have to apologize for not being able to do so many things on the internet!

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