Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

You have to climb atop a car that is not yours to escape a loose dog, if damage is done, is it on you, or the owner of the dog?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21481 points ) October 2nd, 2011

If you are walking, jogging, etc in your neighborhood and some dog appears in front of you snarling and barking, then dashes towards you and the only way to avoid getting mauled was to take refuge atop a nearby vehicle. If you caused any damage to the vehicle, scratches, dents, broken lens, etc, are you stuck paying for the repairs, or would the owner of the loose dog?

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12 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Did this really happen?

chewhorse's avatar

Probably both.. You will have to pay up because you caused the damage then you contact the dog owner and sue him for the amount it cost you.. Who wins? The lawyers of course.

DreamTrees's avatar

I would worry about the bill later. After you are safely out of the way of the dog, note the address and call the police to file a report and CYA (cover your ass). Explain the situation, and make sure the police contact animal control. Chances are, you may not have to pay the bill, because the owner allowed the dog to run loose, and it isn’t your responsiblity to monitor the dog’s behavior. The owner of the vehicle can file with his insurance company; be forthright in your answer, if the insurance company calls you. You are the victim in this case, and if things are handled properly, you can walk away unblamed.

Next time you go jogging, bring some dog biscuits and your cell phone. Take photos—it may save your life, or at least strengthen your case. I would also check with a competent attorney, in case you have to go to court and appear before a judge.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think it would be your problem because you caused the damage. The loose aggressive dog is an entirely separate matter.

But I am not an attorney so it is only a guess.

Interesting question though. When I see a big dog running loose on the street ahead of me, I always look for an escape route just in case. Jumping onto a parked car or truck or over a fence into someone’s yard are the usual scenarios that play in my head. Course then I always wonder if there is a big dog in the fenced yard I jump into to get away from the first dog!!! Life is never simple.

FutureMemory's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Did this really happen?

Are you kidding? He’s standing atop the car this very moment! Thank god for mobile internet!!

flutherother's avatar

The owner of the car could sue you for damages and you could then sue the owner of the dog. If you live in California the owners of the car and the dog are both probably lawyers anyway.

Kayak8's avatar

Any dog I know that is going to come at you enough to make you jump up on a car can get atop the car all by him or herself (that’s like climbing a tree to escape a bear).

Prosb's avatar

If I was in this situation, I probably wouldn’t get on top of a car, only because I would both definitively damage it, and it probably wouldn’t even occur to me. I’m big enough that I can just stand my ground if attacked.

If I was not of my size or overconfidence level in regards to this situation, I would think the owner of the dog would pay the damages, since even though it’s a living being, by law it is still their “property”. Not to mention both as @Kayak8 stated, a dog that is big enough to be even a little threat would be able to get on the car, and it would undoubtedly cause damage to the car as well, whether getting on top, or just scratching it with it’s front paws.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Is there a leash law?

AstroChuck's avatar

My guess is it is on you. Then you turn around and seek reparations from the owner of the dog.

janbb's avatar

Does this question have any basis in reality?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Did this really happen? The question came from some near misses. I knew this person a few years back that said they got the crap scared out of them on the way to the bus, because a mediums sized dog appeared out of nowhere snapping and snarling at them. She said she couldn’t think of what to do. She didn’t feel she was big enough to try to thwart the dog before it attacked or defend properly against it if it did attack. There was no owner to be seen, so it probably broke free of it’s yard. She was thinking the only escape was atop a couple of nearby vehicles. She wondered if she would be blamed for any damage, since most vehicles are not made with as strong of steel as they were pre 70s. The dog had other ideas and passed her up because of whatever.

That thought came back to me about a year ago when I headed towards my brother’s house on foot at 11pm I was accosted by a loose German Sheppard mix. I kept an eye on the animals as it was barking aggressively. I was thinking of that woman, also what I could use either on me or near by as a weapon of defense because I did not have a Maglite on me at the time. There were vehicles and the glancing thought came to using one should the dog lunge, but thankfully it never did. I also thought would I be blamed if I jabbed the dog in the eye with the pen I had, or in the neck with the screwdriver I had.

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