LEGAL CORNER: Am I liable for damage when someone hit my dog? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

LEGAL CORNER: Am I liable for damage when someone hit my dog?

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
(KPLC) -

Submit your questions to news@kplctv.com. Civil matters only, please.

QUESTION: My animal got out and was hit by a truck. The vehicle was totaled and 3 days later driver said they were injured. I wasn't issued a ticket! The driver had full coverage, I had no liability insurance. What can insurance sue me for? What is the statute of limitations on this? What if I can prove it was the driver’s fault?

ANSWER: 

The owner of an animal is answerable for the damage caused by the animal. However, he is answerable for the damage only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his animal's behavior would cause damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care.

The statute of limitations is one year.

If you can prove that the driver was at fault, then you may not be liable; or at least, your liability can be reduced.

Art. 2321. Damage caused by animals

The owner of an animal is answerable for the damage caused by the animal. However, he is answerable for the damage only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his animal's behavior would cause damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care. Nonetheless, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for damages for injuries to persons or property caused by the dog and which the owner could have prevented and which did not result from the injured person's provocation of the dog. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case.

Art. 3492. Delictual actions

Delictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day injury or damage is sustained. It does not run against minors or interdicts in actions involving permanent disability and brought pursuant to the Louisiana Products Liability Act or state law governing product liability actions in effect at the time of the injury or damage.

QUESTION:  Do I need a fishing license to go crabbing? What about a license to fish with a cane pole, does the law require that?

ANSWER: You do not need a fishing license to use a crab line or a dip net. You only need a license if you have crab traps – which requires a basic (salt and freshwater) fishing license and a “gear” or non-commercial (meaning you do not sell the crabs) license. You are allowed up to 10 marked traps. The collapsible string traps, as opposed to the metal ones, are considered dip nets. The confusion about licensing happens when someone crabs in a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) or a wildlife refuge – they often require basic licenses to crab there and people are in violation if they crab there with no license.

As far as the cane pole, yes, you are required to have a license but it does not have to be a basic fishing license – there is a cheaper “hook and line” license that you can purchase, which allows you to legally fish with a cane pole.

You can review the licenses and the prices at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov

QUESTION: I own a portion of some property along with my brothers and sisters from an inheritance. Some siblings want to sell the land for their share, others say they want to “keep it in the family” and object to it being sold. They claim that no sale can occur without their permission. I have heard otherwise. Who is correct?

ANSWER: Owning property that has not been divided is known as owning in “indivision”, and defined in Civil Code Article 797. “Ownership of the same thing by two or more persons is ownership in indivision.” And the code is clear, you do not have to remain an owner in undivided property if you choose not to. “No one may be compelled to hold a thing in indivision with another unless the contrary has been provided by law or juridical act.” Civil Code Article 807.

Three ways the law provides a way out are partition in kind, partition by licitation, or private sale. (these are found in Civil Code Articles 810 and 811) “In kind” refers to the court actually dividing the land into separate lots that are equal in value or size. “Licitation” refers to a public sale, the proceeds being split equally among the owners. In a private sale, there is usually an agreed upon agent and buyer.

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.
 

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