Q: Someone ran over my dog... Can they sue me for car damage?
Our dog was let outside (we live on a farm), she was unleashed. She ran out into the road and a speeding truck had run her over. He did not call the police. Our dog was taken to the vet immediately and stitched up (the vet bill was over $700). She was told she had a high chance to live but unfortunately a few days later did not make it. Although, a few hours later the wife of the man who hit our dog called screaming about car damage. Months after the loss of our dog, they claim they will sue us for the damage done on their car. After they killed our dog. Forgot to add that the car had left the scene and came back around 20 minutes later.
A: I am very sorry about your dog. Sadly, some people can have no sympathy whatsoever. Unfortunately, as owners of your dog, it is your obligation to maintain it under control and not allow it to run loose across traffic. The people should submit their claim to their car insurance, but legally, they can sue you. You should turn the matter over to your homeowners insurance. Believe it or not, it should cover this incident. Again, I am sorry for your loss.
If they come after you you should turn it over to your property/farm insurance. A lot depends on who was where. If the dog was clearly visible and didn't dart out they can't make him a hood ornament.
Depending on your township, you may have a duty to keep your dog under control just as you would have a duty to keep other animals under control--i.e. not free to roam.
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