Are My Neighbors Responsible for Medical Expenses?
Our neighbors pony got out of his lot and went into my parents yard. The pony was wild and kept kicking at my parents dogs which are tied up. At one point It did kick one of the dogs full force. My husband recently had carpal tunnel release surgery on his hand but was helping in the process of trying to get the horse off of my parents property for fear it would kill one of the dogs. We first tried to contact the neighbors to get then to remove the animal from the property but they were not home. While chasing the horse my husband fell hard and it caused his incision to rip open which will mean unnecessary medical bills and a longer healing process. Who is responsible for the expense?
The neighbors had a duty to keep their pony on their property. Because of the pony coming onto your parents’ yard, it was foreseeable that your parents and/or their son-in-law/your husband would take steps to return the pony to the neighbors’s property and, it was also foreseeable that your husband would be injured while attempting to return the pony to the neighbors’s property. As such, in that the neighbors breached their duty to keep the pony on their property and the injury to your husband was directly and proximately caused by the neighbors’s breach of that duty, the neighbors should be held liable for any increased medical bills and any increased non-economic damages, e.g., pain & suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, disability and/or impairment and loss of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures resulting from your husband’s injury.
NOTE: The neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance policy may provide coverage for the injury and resulting economic (increased medical expenses) and non-economic damages (as listed above), suffered by your husband … although some homeowner’s insurance policy have a coverage exclusion for “animal liability” injuries. Also, if you are interested in pursuing a claim for damages against the neighbors, you may want to seek out a personal injury attorney with who also has a background in equine law.