Dog run over… Dog owner's fault???

posted 1 year ago in Pets
  • poll: Dog gets hit by a car. Who is liable for the damages?
    The driver - he/she killed the dog and didn't avoid it! : (31 votes)
    17 %
    The dog owner - his/her dog should be leashed : (136 votes)
    75 %
    Other (Explain) : (15 votes)
    8 %
  • Member
    4366 posts
    Honey bee

    Honestly? Unleashed dogs are a huge pet peeve of mine. (The exception is when the dog gets out of the house and the owner is trying to catch them.) My neighbors let their dogs out unleashed and the other day I caught it trying to poop on my deck (apt.  complex). I understand that some owners think their dogs are well enough behaved that they don’t need to be leashed outdoors, but if they do that they accept the chance their their dog could into the street, chase someone ect. I feel terrible for the owner losing their dog, but I also believe that accidents like that are preventable and can be prevented by keeping dogs leashed outdoors.

    Member
    5164 posts
    Bee Keeper

    The dog owner is at fault. The dog should have been under the owner’s control (leashed, fenced, etc.).

    The driver of the car is not at fault. You are NEVER supposed to swerve for animals! It’s very dangerous! If the dog ran out in front of the car, the driver likely may not have had time to stop.

    I’m a huge dog lover and have three. I would be devastated if they got out and got ran over, but it would be my responsibility.

    Member
    7166 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    As a dog owner, if my dog got out and ran into the street and was struck by a car and died – I’d feel responsible and cover the damages.

    If for some reason, the laws of the area allow dogs to roam unleashed, I’d feel less liable.

    If I was the driver and hit someone’s dog and the dog died, I’d personally feel horrible and would likely take the loss on my own insurance… but, it really would depend on the circumstances of WHY the dog was out in the first place… ie: was it an accident/one time type thing – or was it just because the owner let the dog out hoping it would be ok, etc.  Regardless, I think the dog owner is liable for the damage.

    Member
    97 posts
    Worker bee

    I don’t know exactly the situation, but generally speaking once you have a pet, you are responsible for it. Which means that you have to make sure the pet is safe and also that people around your pet are safe. My aunt used to have an insurance to cover damages that her dog could have made. 

    Member
    406 posts
    Helper bee

    I’m on the fence. My dog is WELL trained. He stays in our (unfenced) yard, he waits at exits to parks, and anytime he’s off-leash, he’ll stop and/or come on a dime (maybe plus a 10-20 delay if he’s sniffing something. but if he’s in motion, he’ll redirect). So if he somehow got hit by a car it would be VERY out of character for him. It’s just about as likely as your 5 year old getting hit by a car. If kids get hit by a vehicle, are their parents responsible for damages? (I don’t know; I don’t have them and don’t know anyone who’s hit a kid – but I’m guessing not)

    On the flip side; neglectful owner who thinks an untrained dog should exercise himself? Creating a hazard and absolutely should pay. Although someone should report him to pet rescue first. 

    So at the end of the day.. it depends on the situation. I don’t think it should be automatic. And I think the standard for pet care and training should be higher.

    Member
    2622 posts
    Sugar bee

    probably the owners fault, and judging by the described reaction, he’s neither a responsible owner nor a dog lover… however I’d feel so awful about hitting a dog, I’d probably prefer to take the bus for a year than ask for damages.

    Member
    521 posts
    Busy bee

    If the dog was unleashed its the owners fault, if the dog was leashed and say the owner was walking w the dog across the street, i would say its the drivers fault.

    Member
    7204 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    The owner’s emotions are really not important. If your dog causes a problem off of your property, the owner is liable, regardless of the circumstances. 

    Member
    162 posts
    Blushing bee

    It’s the dog owner’s fault for not controlling the animal.

    A side story-many yrs ago, my ex hit a cow (yes, a cow) and totaled his car. The cow also died.

    The owner of the cow sued my ex, saying he was speeding and would have been able to see the cow and stop if had been driving the speed limit (which was probably true). He further stated that the cow had broken through the fence and that he had no way of knowing the cow was in the middle of the road, so it was not his fault.

    The court ruled in favor of my ex. No discussion. It didn’t matter why the cow was out-didn’t matter is it had never happened before. 

    The court will almost always find in favor of the driver if the animal is in the street.

    Member
    4693 posts
    Honey bee

    If the dog was off-leash and just ran into the street, owner is at fault. The only way the driver would be at fault was if it was like… in the dog owner’s driveway or something where it would be a reasonable expectation for it to be off-leash.

    Member
    1133 posts
    Bumble bee

    The owner is technically liable.

    However, I would NEVER ask the owner for any kind of money when they’ve just lost a member of their family.  In my opinion, they’ve paid for it enough.

    Member
    2627 posts
    Sugar bee

    So my question is, if the dog didnt die, would it be the owners fault then? Just because the dog died or didnt die shouldn’t change whose fault it is.

    I am basing these questions on the wording of your poll. You dont know the driver saw the dog at all, you dont know they didnt try to avoid it. All you know is the dog got killed while a driver who has right of way was driving down the road. Whether the dog gets killed or not doesnt change the circumstances. It only makes it more sad.

    The driver – he/she killed the dog and didn’t avoid it!

    Member
    1990 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think it’s the dog owner’s fault.  I absolutely hate off leash dogs.  People really put more faith in their animals than they should.  I have 3 dogs and can’t take them for walks anymore because of the amount of off leash dogs in our neighborhood.  And yes, these dogs just sit in the yard, until we walk by and then they come running.  My dogs attacked a poor little dog a few months ago that was off leash and came charging at them.  The dog’s leg was injured but it was the owner’s fault, and he took responsibility for it because he knew he was wrong to have his dog off leash in the front yard.  So I would think the same if it’s a car, since the dog is off leash it is the responsibility of the irresponsible pet owner to pay for the damages.

     

    Member
    988 posts
    Busy bee

    @AlwaysSunny:  +1. It’s sad that the dog owner probably feels bad about losing his dog, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s responsible for the damages.

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