Afraid of the Neighbor’s Dog
Perhaps the neighbor’s dog barks when you’re on your own lawn. Maybe the dog has a habit of chasing cars on the street. Or perhaps, the dog stands and growls at people walking by the house. If you feel your neighbor has a dangerous animal, there are several steps you can take to avoid problems while documenting the issues for future legal action.
Personal injury cases depend on someone’s negligence. Homeowners, business owners, pet owners… someone needs to be responsible — or the injury is just an accident. If you think your neighbor is ignoring the fact that his or her animal is dangerous, then you have the start of a personal injury case.
Typically, evidence of negligence has to collected after the accident has already occurred. For example, if you trip and fall because of a loose step on the front door of a business, then you would have to document the problem after the accident. But in many cases, the person responsible for the accident quickly fixes such a problem.
With an animal, you might have time to observe and document problems before they turn into injuries. Photographs of the dog on the street without a leash, copies of police records indicating the dog’s threatening behavior, notes from any conversations about the animal… these are examples of documentation you and your lawyer can use if the animal eventually bites or hurts someone.
Of course, by talking to the neighbor or contacting the police prior to a problem you could significantly reduce the likelihood of an incident. If you think you have a dangerous animal in the neighborhood, start communicating with the police immediately and document every step you take. Any evidence you have will be invaluable if the dog causes an injury.