I heard about a story where the guy runs over a dog and his car obviously gets damaged. The dog dies. It was actually still alive and when the owner went to the scene, he just grabbed the dog and threw it on the bed of his truck. He showed no sign of sadness. Later on, the dog’s owner says that the dog died on the way to the vet. The guy with the damaged car does not get a ticket because the police officer says the driver was not at fault. The driver now wants to ask the dog owner for the money to repair the car – at least the deductible.
My mom and I were talking about this and we couldn’t believe it at first… The dog already died, and now the owner will be asked for money to repair the damage for the car that hit the dog? It just didn’t seem right…
However, I was searching about it last night and found a message board discussing this same issue. Many of the responses agreed with the driver – that the dog owner should pay because they did not use the proper restraints to make sure their dog was safe. The comments went on to say that if it happened to be where the driver got into a more serious car accident trying to dodge the dog, it would have been even worse and so the dog owner should just pay up.
Is this really how it is? I was just a little shocked.
What do you think?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
@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.