I Accidentally Ran Over a Dog. Can I Sue the Owner for Damages to My Car?

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I hit a dog on my way home from work. The dog ran across the road. The dog was slightly hurt and the owner picked it up and carried it to the sidewalk. My car was damaged and it is in need of repair as a result of hitting the dog. Who is at fault? There is a leash law in town. What do I do?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You have the legal right to sue the owner for damages to your vehicle if your state has leash laws that require dogs to be kept on a leash at all times while out in public. If the owner was in fact negligent (ex – did not keep their dog properly leashed in public), then he or she may be held liable for damages. However, if you ran the dog over while it was on the owner’s property, then you may be held liable for damages.

Additionally, you may be counter-sued for the destruction of private property (the dog). The damages for the destruction of property may be more than the value of repairs needed for your car. You should contact a local personal injury attorney for legal advice.

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Author: House Attorney