General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

If my fiancé hit a dog with his car, who is responsible to pay for his car's damages?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10154 points ) January 18th, 2010 from iPhone

While driving to work a few weeks ago my fiancé hit and killed a dog. It was still dark out so visibility was low. The dog ran across the road and he had no time to stop. My fiancé went up to the only house that was around and knocked on the door. It turned out to be their pet. The lady said it was her fault she let out the dog to go potty in the backyard and thought she could trust him. But it crossed the road and it was on it’s way back to their house when my fiancé hit it. Although sad, the owners offered to pay for the damages to his car after the holidays were over and they took his name and phone number. We still haven’t received a phone call. His car is driveable but he’s had to replace his headlight and is currently driving around with a cracked side panel and a bumper that is hanging. He feels horrible for killing their dog but feels like it was their responsibilty to keep their dog on their property. And they did offer to pay for repairs. So what should our next move be? Is it really their responsibilty? Or are we screwed? Should we try contacting them and give them an estimate? Any legal information is appreciated. Thanks!

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122 Answers

Trillian's avatar

Depends on the leash laws in the area.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Call your car insurance comany and make a report.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Our insurance doesn’t cover hitting an animal. I don’t know that it would do any good.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

you want people to pay for your car’s damage when you killed their dog?!...i’m sorry but even if you didn’t mean to kill their dog, that’s still the result and you should care more about that than the damage to the car..they offered, probably, because they didn’t know what else to say…maybe now they’re hoping you’ll come to your senses…

john65pennington's avatar

The dog owner is liable. if your fiance was not violating any traffic laws, the dog owner is responsible. their dog was suppose to be on a leash. the dog owners have agreed to make the auto repairs, so get two estimates and give the estimates to the dog owners. you can call your insurance company and they probably will advise you the same. i would not file a claim with my insurance company for a claim like this. save them for something major. if all parties agree, have the dog owner to write you a check for the damages and have your vehicle repaired.

denidowi's avatar

Well, it depends whether he hit the dog, or the dog hit him:
If he hit the dog, he should pay its veterinary fees; if the dog hit him, then the dog owes him on the car HaHa! ;
But he may have to take the thing to court to get any satisfaction from the Animal ;)

chyna's avatar

What would you have done if you hadn’t found the owner or if it had been a deer? If it was out of city limits, there probably is not a leash law. I would feel bad that I killled the dog, but maybe you can split the cost with them.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Like
I said, he felt horrible but now he has damages to his car that were not his fault. If these owners were responsible they would have had their animal tied up on a leash outside. Because of their neglect, they lost their animal and my fiance’s car is in bad shape.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

As you said, the car is still driveable. Even if they offered, don’t extend their misery. Your fiance killed a member of their family, and his car got damaged. In the grand scheme of things you are the lucky ones, so be thankful for that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I totally got the situation the first time around – I just don’t get the response is all – I am sorry…it’s just one of those things…if my husband and I were in this situation, we’d feel so horrible for killing their pet (no matter who’s to blame) that we wouldn’t ask for any money…it wouldn’t even come out of my mouth right…I couldn’t do it…

denidowi's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I must admit, there are more times I disagree with you, but i certainly agree on this one.
You know… wot’s more important: a loss of life, or a feeble fender or headlightLOL??!
I mean… please… let’s get life in context!
NEXT??

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Ok people. We are not heartless by any means. He
did not ask them. They offered and then never followed through. So you’re saying because of the owner’s being irresponsible, we should suck it up and deal with a damaged vehicle? I think not.

laureth's avatar

If it were a car instead of a dog and you hit it, you’d be responsible because you failed to appropriately control your vehicle. It’s their fault that the dog was killed (shouldn’t have let it out without supervision), and your fault that you hit it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I didn’t call you or your fiancee heartless, at all…I am only saying what I’d do in your place…I read the story over and over and it doesn’t seem to me that the fact that they were being ‘irresponsible’ (I put that in quotations because their irresponsibility was only towards their pet and not to your car because a car doesn’t feel and it doesn’t matter that it’s damaged) has the same value as a loss of life.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I don’t want or care for the opinions about whether you think they should have to pay or not. I want legal advice. I want to know our legal rights. Honestly, if I made the decision to let my dog out with no leash and it got killed, I’d take the blame for that! I would also offer to pay for damages to that innocent person’s vehicle. That’s the proper thing to do. My fiancé never implied he wanted a payment from them. He was very apologetic. They offered. He still declined the offer. They insisted. And once he thought about it, he realized the damages caused were going to cost him a lot of money out of his own pocket to repair. We can’t afford that nor should we have to. He was going to offer to cover half. But now we get the feeling the owners aren’t going to follow through. We just want to know our rights.

laureth's avatar

If you want actual legal advice instead of laymen’s opinions, perhaps you ought to consult a lawyer and not laymen.

chyna's avatar

Yeah, I wouldn’t call them “irresponsible” if you go to talk to them about this. They lost a pet and a member of their family. Again, what would you have done if it had been a deer? Would you have turned it in to your insurance or paid it yourself?

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I don’t think they can shoulder 100% of the blame here. Should they have had their dog on a leash and paid more attention to it, yes. But just because it was dark does not completely excuse your fiance. The fact of the matter is, he hit their dog. It’s his responsibility to pay attention and be careful while driving, even in bad driving conditions. Again, I don’t think either party is 100% responsible, rather both parties are partly responsible.

I suspect they offered to pay for the damages because it was their way of being civil in a difficult and painful situation. If I were you, I would ask myself “What have I really lost here?”, and extend some civility to the dog’s owners.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Simone It doesn’t matter that it’s damaged? Hmmm. Well it matters to us. It matters that we can no longer sell it for what it’s worth like we planned. It matters that we don’t have the money to cover these costs. Yeah, sure it seems like no big deal compared to them losing their dog but legally I’m interested in who is in the wrong.

Chikipi's avatar

I wouldn’t ask for the pet owners to pay for it. Have you gone to get an estimate yet? Fixing a headlight is not that expensive and the panel can be bumped out. We also do not know what type of condition your car was in to begin with. It could be a rolling piece of trash for all we know- no offense. Anyways, again I wouldn’t ask the owners for money as I would feel heart broken I killed their dog whether it was the owners fault or mine. I wouldn’t want to worry about something so small in comparison of losing a loved one

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

It was a black dog and it was
completely dark. It came from the right side of the road and it ran directly out in front of him. Nothing could have been done to avoid hitting it. Shit happens. He was obeying the speed limit.

chyna's avatar

You need to contact a lawyer since you are interested in who is legally responsible. We are only a collective that gives our opinions.

denidowi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 – it’s also going to cost THEM a lot of money to replace their dogLOL!
Not only that… but I’m sure your bf is not going to grieve over his “HUGE” loss ;)
There is Nothing that can genuinely replace a lost loved one. I know the dog is not human, but there exists very real emotional bonds with family pets.
I’m sure THEY also thought about it later, and decided that they had paid a much bigger price that you folks had.
In that sense, they have already paid their great price for their lack of judgment… I’m sure you can wear that small monetary cost

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I apologize for not offering any legal advice – if you can, can you later tell me what legal responsibility you hold for killing an animal…because it seems to me that you should.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yeah, but the way I see it, the car belonged on the road. The dog didn’t. A pet owner has the responsibility to corral their animals. Hurting or not, these people should at the very least, share the expense of getting this vehicle repaired.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Please just let it go this time(if you respect the dog and its owner) .You can still repair your car next time when you can afford to pay.

I wonder in your previous question it sounds like you care so much about the abused dog,but in this question it doesn’t sound like you concern about that dog.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Chikipi Its not a piece of shit. It was in perfect condition before this. And it’s nit dented. The dog was 140 lbs. It cracked the whol
side of the car and left te bumper hanging. The damage is not minor or we wouldn’t even give a shit.

Response moderated
ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I am a pet owner. I own 2 dogs. I love them! This is why I leash them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I wasn’t attacking you or being sarcastic leaving thread sorry for bothering

Chikipi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I’m just stating we don’t know what kind of car, how old it was, or the condition.

These are opinions and how we feel like @chyna said. If you didn’t want an opinion, why did you post on fluther? If you want legal advice- GO SEE A LAWYER

I think you are having a bad night because now you feel people are attacking you when only opinions are being stated.

I highly recommend taking a chill pill or having a glass of wine.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Ooohhh…I’m about to get on my soap box…...........

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

From a purely legal standpoint: If you did not call the police at the time of the incident, then I doubt you will be able to recover any expenses. To much time has elapsed, and there is no one to judge whether or not your fiance was driving carefully (even if he was) or if the dog was running around wildly and the accident could not have been avoided.

Their offer to pay for the damages at the time is not a legally binding contract.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Jeff Thanks. You’re probably right. I was afraid of that.

john65pennington's avatar

You are welcome. the dog owner make ask you to sign a paper releasing them of any further liability in this case, once you have received the check. be expecting this and its okay to sign it.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Chikipi My night was going just fine. Until now. If you read my above responses I stated that I was open to hear different opinions but not attacking. Big difference. Now you’re just trying to push my buttons. Have a glass of wine? I mean, come on.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Simone Thank god for that.

Haleth's avatar

Legally, you could take them to small claims court for the damages, but couldn’t they countersue for the loss of their dog? You are just as liable for the loss of the dog as they are for the damage to the car. It was civil of them to offer to pay for the damages- most dog owners would probably just be angry about the loss of their pet and not even care about the damage to your car.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I have one word for you…IGNORE!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Haleth We’re not interested in going to court. We would never take things that far.

Fernspider's avatar

Would you expect a next of kin to pay for your car if you ran over a child or person? Just wondering. I am certain that it would be classified as manslaughter. Sad to think animals don’t have the same rights.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jbfletcherfan You’re absolutely right. I can’t win. Thanks ;)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Rachienz Bahaha! That’s a good one…manslaughter. I hit a dog. Not a child. Don’t compare the two. Really.

Chikipi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I had no intentions of pushing your buttons. My car is 14 years old, looks great, and runs like a charm. I am not so concerned with material possessions anymore in my life so I tend to only focus on what has to be fixed so in this case for me it would be the headlight which is an easy fix.

I suggested the glass of wine because I feel you are getting a bit amped up over nothing and reading too far into people’s opinions. A glass of wine never hurt anyone, plus it helps me de-stress when needed.

Again, it was my opinion and advice which goes by the take it or leave it motto. I hope you have a better night.

avvooooooo's avatar

I think that your comprehensive insurance might cover this. It deals with the things that happen that aren’t collision (with another automobile) based, like if a tree limb falls onto the car and damages it.

I think everyone offering their unsolicited opinions on parts of this matter that they were definitely not asked about in the question should unfollow this question before they appear any more unreasonable and ridiculious.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@avvooooooo I’ll check into that, thanks!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Chikipi Its not that we care about what the car looks like. It’s an older vehicle but was in very good condition (no dents, rust, etc). The only reason he even cared about the damage was because it’s our only vehicle and he had plans to trade it for a better vehicle or sell it. The current condition ruins those plans. We’re not materalistic people at all. We only cared about resale value. We tried to keep it in good condition for that reason. I agree, I did let these posts really get to me. But only because I knew people would have a strong opinion about this and I wanted more of a legal opinion rather than “you’re a horrible person, how could you even ask for money” type of opinion. Know what I mean? Ugh. I do need a drink now.

dpworkin's avatar

Make an at-fault insurance claim or suck it up. He hit the dog, he is ipso facto at fault. It might be nice to offer to replace their dog, though, or at least send them an apology and some flowers.

Judi's avatar

Her homeowners insurance will probably cover it, unless she rents and doesn’t have rental insurance.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Ohh I got modded for saying fuck? I thought we were allowed to curse? But attacking is allowed? I give up.

faye's avatar

The dog should have been in a fenced yard. The owners of the dog are at fault. But it would probably cost more to go to court. I would call the family. If my animals damaged anything I would pay for it. Because I am a responsible pet owner. And, of course he didn’t want to hurt any animal!!

avvooooooo's avatar

@faye A small claims suit generally costs about 50 bucks to file, if a matter were to be taken to court. The expense of major lawsuits are mostly fees for lawyers which would be compltely unnecessary.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Doctor_D I am 100% an animal lover. Don’t accuse me otherwise. As I said, I have 2 dogs that I love very much. I would never risk letting them out without a leash. I don’t trust them not to run in a road. They made a mistake. I understand it happens. I was only interested in knowing who was really at fault and who should be paying for what.
Clearly most people on here think I’m a heartless bitch. Hope I don’t get modded for that. I never meant to come off that way. I’m not at all. After seeing the responses I’m rethinking the entire thing. Though I didn’t appreciate how people stated their opinionated feelings, I can see why they feel that way. I can understand what the pet owners are going through but I want people to understand that my fiancé didn’t intentially set out to kill someone’s pet that day! The dog ran in front of him at 4:30 in the morning. It was dark and unavoidable. From our point of view, the dog should have been on a leash or fenced in. Due to the fact that it wasn’t, it was hit. We will be sending the owners a sympathy card because we do care.

tinyfaery's avatar

At this point, it will be your word against another. You didn’t report it to anyone and there were no witnesses. They could easily say they never even had a dog, at this point. I don’t think it’s worth a small claims filing fee. In the future, always report these incidents to your insurance company. It’s the best chance you have of recovering your money.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@tinyfaery Very true. Good point.

Pandora's avatar

I think that legally there isn’t anything you can do. Verbal aggreements are worth the paper they are written on. You can ask them to honor it but whether they will or not is another issue. They can deny the whole thing and say, yes their dog died in an accident but by now it is cremated. The cost of court would probably be more trouble and money than the cost of repair. You’ll just owe more money after you lose. He should of gotten a promisary note, or at least their insurance info for their car or their home. One of them may have paid some of the cost.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Pandora He should’ve but he felt like an ass already so he just gave them his contact info and left it at that.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I understand(I don’t think you’re a bad person). Before you send your sympathy card you can write something about this problem on it,to reminds them or to see their further intention (they might forgot or having their own financial problem).

Likeradar's avatar

You say they said they would pay when your fiance told them he killed their dog. Can you imagine the shock they were feeling? How emotionally charged they were? You have dogs, I;m sure you can imagine how distraught, angry, guilt ridden, and awful you would feel. How can you possibly think of holding them to what they said in a state of shock?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Likeradar He was there with them for quite awhile. It wasn’t a quick decision on their part. This was said after they had calmed down and the initial shock had passed.

Likeradar's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I imagine it would take days, maybe weeks to get to a rational place in relation to someone killing your dog, no matter the legality of it.

Darwin's avatar

Be aware that proof is everything in law. Dogs are companion animals but they are also working animals, and hence tools. Thus, dogs have a legal value under law. If the dog owner could prove that your fiance was going too fast for conditions, then he would be liable for the dog, as well as his own car repairs. An example from FindLaw:

“A car ran over my dog. Can I recover from the driver?

Yes, you might win a lawsuit. A dog is property, and you have suffered property damage. You will have to show that the driver was negligent.”

Since the police were not called, neither side has any proof of who was at fault. Your fiance could claim the dog owners were at fault because they didn’t make absolutely sure that the dog stayed in the yard. However, a good lawyer could convince a judge and jury that because the dog had always stayed in the yard before, the dog owner had a reasonable expectation as to the behavior of the dog, and could go on to make the point that the fact that your fiance hit the dog was proof that your fiance was driving too fast for the conditions.

Without a police report, without the knowledge as to whether the state where this occurred is a no-fault or fault state, and without a written and signed agreement of who was to pay what, neither side has a case. You are lucky not to be in the UK, where anyone who hits a dog or farm animal is required to report it to the police, because you didn’t.

It is also quite possible that your fiance declined their offer twice, they concluded that he wouldn’t expect them to follow through.

In any case, I suspect that the two of you need to talk to your fiance’s insurance company.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Likeradar Maybe true. I’m assuming that’s why they haven’t called. They had time to think things over and decided it wasn’t their issue.

Response moderated
dindinbaby's avatar

To answer your question with no judgement, it depends on the leash laws in the town, but also the state. If you reside in an open-range state (Idaho, Wyoming, or Nevada to name a few) you are actually liable for the cost of replacing the animal. If you live in an at fault state (Iowa is one) the owners should pay for the damage to the car. If you live in a no fault state (Kansas is one of these) you pay for your own car, they pay for their own dog, unless you can prove that they have been negligent, since in these states, animals are considered to have their own will and humans can only do their best to contain them the majority of the time. Hope this helps

jonsblond's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 You ask for a little legal advice and…..wow. My jaw was on the floor reading this thread. I know not to ask Fluther for legal advice now. At least a few people have been helpful. I know you’re not a heartless bitch. :)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jonsblond I know! That’s what I’m saying! I was shocked too…geez. Thanks for understanding ;)

Sophief's avatar

Your fiance hit a dog, his fault, he pays.

denidowi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 – You should probably let this topic drop now.
I note there have already been visits from Fluther Moderators, and you had a very good legal counsel given to you further above which is mainly what you wanted :)

jonsblond's avatar

@denidowi It’s her question and she should drop it?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@denidowi Drop it? Whaaaat?! I haven’t even visited since last night. More people happened to respond to the question so I dropped in to see what was said. Maybe you should drop the question and stop following it. Then it won’t bother you so much.

denidowi's avatar

Just trying to help, but if it’s not perceived that way, I shall depart anyway
I was just concerned that it gotr somewhat heated for a while which can break down relationships and also that Fluther had visited more than one on this thread.

avvooooooo's avatar

@denidowi As with other things, it would be best if you clicked the “stop following” link at the top of the page and left this question alone.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@denidowi Just because the mods popped in doesn’t mean I should stop following the question. Some of the best posts in Fluther history have been visited more than a few
times by moderators. It happens. They’re not gonna scare me off. No way.

Chikipi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 follow this link as long as you want. It your choice not anyone elses.

Although we have different views on how we would handle this situation. I agree with @jonsblond and do not believe you are a heartless bitch either.

Sophief's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Why should the poor people have to pay for your boyfriends car. He killed their dog! They shouldn’t have to keep their dog on a leash, he’s a dog, a pet, not a monster. I think you be kucky that he wasn’t speeding and caused more damge.

jonsblond's avatar

@Dibley Pets are not allowed to just roam the streets without their owner. Most cities do have leash laws. Are you aware of this? He did not intentionally kill the dog. He is lucky that he didn’t swerve off the road and get killed because of this. Maybe the couple doesn’t need to pay, but come on! This is a difficult situation for @ItalianPrincess1217.

Sophief's avatar

@jonsblond I never said he did mean to kill the dog. I was just trying to think about the poor people that have lost their dog, I think they are worse off. I agree that the dog shouldn’t be roaming the streets, and that they shouldn’t have let the dog out the house on his own, but the dog is dead, I think that might be a little upsetting for them.

avvooooooo's avatar

@Dibley Pets are a responsibility. If you don’t take responsibility for your pets, something bad will happen to them, if only that they manage to get away from you or “run away.” If your pets cause damage to anything else when you’re being irresponsible with them, that is where you are responsible, irregardless of your feelings about your slacking and losing your pet. If it tore up carpet in a hotel room, ruined someone’s dish towels, or anything else while unsupervised, the owners would be responsible for remedying the damage. This is roughly the same thing. The fact that the dog died doing the damage that it did is irrelevant when discussing the responsibility of the owners and the fact that it caused damage.

My dogs are in a large fenced yard. Unless they’re out in the woods hunting, they are on leashes in public. Its my responsibility as a dog owner to take care of my pets and the people and their property around me and my pets. Its that simple.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dibley As jonsblond and avvooooooo said, having a pet is a responsibility and I’m amazed at all the people that don’t seem to think so. Let’s put a different spin on things…

Let’s pretend that a dog was off his leash and a 3 yr old little girl and her father were walking down the road, minding their own business, and this dog that was running freely seen the little girl and attacked her. Now let’s say that the father had no choice but to shoot the dog to protect her from being killed. The little girl was badly injured and has medical bills. Who should be responsible for her bills? The innocent family who was walking by or the owners of the dog who they trusted to stay in the yard but didn’t? Yes, their dog is dead, but that’s a dirrect result of them having too much trust in their pet. Same situation here, just put into a different perspective. Nobody seems to see things from my fiancé and I’s point of view only because it’s a vehicle that was damaged, not a child. But the point is, either way, pet owners should be more responsible in order to avoid these kinds of situations.

Sophief's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I do see your point. I do realise it is the owners responsibility. I used to own a dog and we kep him inside and he was never allowed out on his own. We didn’t keep him tied up though. When we took him out then obviously he was on a leash. In fact he did get out once. We were having new windows and he got out and crossed the road, luckily we got him back safe. I really do see why you feel anger, it’s your boyfriend, I would probably feel the same, but because it isn’t me, I do see both sides and sympathise with both sides, but I still don’t think the owners should pay. To the story with the little girl, I wouldn’t shoot the dog, maybe if I were a mother I would disagree. I’m just giving my opinion. Though I did use to work in a Solicitors and I am going in there tomorrow morning and I will ask legal advice for you. I know you don’t like my opinion, and I wouldn’t if in your shoes, but it is just my opinion.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dibley Its not that I don’t like
your opinion. I’m just simply trying to get people to look at things a little different by giving a similar situation of a dog roaming free in it’s yard and being trusted by it’s owners. Giving too much trust to a dog is asking for trouble. Dogs are unpredictable. If they see a bunny run across the road, it’ll follow, even if it’s never left the yard in the past. My family lost a dog that way. It seen something and ran into the road and was killed. The person never even stopped. So I know what it’s like. I’ve been there. You said you wouldn’t shoot a dog that was in the process of killing your 3 yr old daughter in order to save her life? Yikes! I would, and I’m no killer…

Sophief's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Like I said, I’m not a mother, if I were I’m sure I wouldn’t of put that. When I was about 7, we had a dog that had been ill treated, I was allowed to hold his leash on the way home. He saw woman that looked the woman that abused and ran after her, jumped her and bit and scratched all her back. We had to have him put down. Anyway, I’ve just told my boyfriend about this and he said they should pay for the damage, especially if your boyfriend wasn’t speeding, and if you took it to a small claims court they would be made to pay damages. He also works at the Solicitors, just not in that department.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dibley Well thanks for the info. I’m hoping we can just take care of everything by just dealing with the owners themselves. I wouldn’t want to go as far as takin them to court. Although I see it as their fault, they did just lose their pet. I wouldn’t want to sue them after such a horrible thing just happened.

faye's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Did you send the note and tell them the damage costs?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@faye We are sending a card and a poem to them with our phone number attached. We won’t be sending the estimates along with it. We’re hoping they’ll take the attached phone number as a hint and if not we will be sending a seperate letter with quotes. My fiancé called a few shop yesterday and found out to fix everything would be a little over $500. We plan to ask them to cover half. We figured that was fair.

Chikipi's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I think that is a good compromise. I’m glad you sent them a card. I think they will appreciate it.

faye's avatar

It is fair of you.

dpworkin's avatar

I think it’s selfish, narcissistic and ugly, and that your boyfriend should take responsibility for what he did, not blame the people whose loss he caused.

Sophief's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Ok. The people that lost their dog are supposed to pay, if they don’t offer, you have the right to send them the bill. If they don’t pay, you can sue them and they then pay court costs. Maybe they have pet insurance. I was going to say send a card, but you have, this is decency on your side and now they should pay for his damage. This is British law though, I don’t know American law.

dpworkin's avatar

Maybe an example would help illustrate my point of view, since a mere declaration sounds so harsh. Supposing a 7-year-old boy, without his parent’s permission, sneaked out of the house at night and rode his bicycle. Without warning, he suddenly swerves into your path, you hit him, and he dies. The parents were negligent. The boy was at fault. Do you ask the parents to pay for your repairs? Why or why not? Does the perceived value of the lost life change the fundamental ethics of the question? How?

avvooooooo's avatar

@pdworkin Please read above. The small child angle has already been covered in some of the 94 previous responses. Thanks.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, Lord, i have erred. Am I to be forgiven, or will you send me a card demanding payment?

I haven’t seen it satisfactorily addressed, but maybe that’s just me. If you killed my dog and then started smarming around looking for payment, I might shoot you.

jonsblond's avatar

There would have been no accident, no car damage, if the dog was properly looked after. What ever happened to personal responsibility?

If my dog ran into the street and was hit by a car, it would have been my fault, not the person driving the car.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@pdworkin Calm down tiger. I’m not sending a card demanding a payment. That would be inappropriate. And a child sneaking out of the house is not the same as what happened with this dog. The dog was allowed to roam freely without supervision. It is the owners responsibilty to make sure their pet is safe. Not anyone else’s.

dpworkin's avatar

@jonsblond If you can’t accept that it is the driver’s responsibility to be prepared for any and every contingency, please don’t drive anywhere near where I live.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@pdworkin You do realize that most insurance companies (at least here in the US) tell you not to swerve for animals. If you try to avoid a deer and hit a tree, it’s not covered. If you hit the deer, it is covered. I happen to not have that high of coverage but nonetheless. You know why? Because they realize that animals are unpredictable and 99% of the time drivers will not be able to react fast enough to stop, even when obeying speed limits and driving cautiously. This accident could have easily been avoided had the owners paid closer attention to their pet. It’s as simple as that. I’m trying to show them some compassion by sending a sympathy card and poem. I thought that would be a nice gesture. Nowhere does it say anything about a payment. And might I remind you that we never asked for a payment. Because they offered, we are taking them up on the offer. After considering who was really in the wrong we decided it would be fair to ask for half. And they clearly felt it was appropriate to offer to pay for damages because they realized it was caused due to their irresponsibility. Why can’t you realize what they already have? I agree with jonsblond. If my animal caused an accident, I’d offer to cover damages. It’s the appropriate thing to do.

jonsblond's avatar

@pdworkin Some things cannot be avoided. Even the most responsible drivers have accidents due to someone else’s negligence. Several years ago a woman was killed because a teenager threw a rock over an overpass on the local highway and it crashed through her windshield. I supposed that was her fault.

Sophief's avatar

@jonsblond I think @pdworkin is just expressing his feeling for the dog that has lost his life and the people that have lost their animal., in comparrison to a damaged car. The law and rules, might be just that, but people have their own opinions.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dibley Probably. But there are certainly better and more appropriate ways to express one’s opinion. Stating that “I might shoot you” wasn’t necessary. I lose respect for people when they can’t find the right words to express their feelings so instead they lash out.

Sophief's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Was my legal advice to you any help, or doesn’t it apply in America?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dibley We’re in the process of finding out exact laws for our town but I’ll let you know when I find anything out. Thanks for the info though.

Likeradar's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Please do let us know. I’m curious about the legalities of this situation even though I know exactly what I think should be done ethically.

jonsblond's avatar

@Dibley Of course we are allowed to express our opinions, it doesn’t need to be done in such a rude way though. He doesn’t want me driving near him, fine. In my 20 years of driving I have not caused or been in one accident. I might shoot you is pretty harsh.

CMaz's avatar

“So what should our next move be?”

Call them. And, did you call your insurance company?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Update: I just spoke with the animal control police for our town and the owners are responsible for paying any and all damages on the vehicle. The cop said they can choose to pay out of pocket or have their home owners insurance cover it but either way they are held responsible for their pets actions at all times.

dpworkin's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 If you are covered, according to you, then why do you want the people who just lost a member of their family to pay you?

Edit: I just read your cheery update! Now we know for sure what you’re entitled to. I think you should go over there with a baseball bat and get your money. It’s yours! The law says so!

jonsblond's avatar

@pdworkin Why do you insist on being so rude to @ItalianPrincess1217. You are the one who admitted that you would resort to violence, no @ItalianPrincess1217. She just wants to know what her rights are. Give it a rest.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@pdworkin You misunderstood. We are not covered under the car insurance. But they are covered under their homeowners insurance. A baseball bat? Violence isn’t my thing. I’ll leave that one up to you. You’re the one who seems to be so hostile.

Likeradar's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 out of curiosity, and apologies if it’s already been addressed in the thread- If they never mentioned paying for it after your fiance accidentally killed their pet, would you still be pursuing this?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Likeradar I would have definitely looked into what our rights were. I’m not sure how far we would’ve taken things.

avvooooooo's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I thought about homeowner’s insurance while I was in the shower today, and came on here to suggest it, but I see that you’ve already got that! :)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@avvooooooo The fact that you were thinking about me in the shower is making me giggle…

jonsblond's avatar

me too… :D

avvooooooo's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Oooh baby! ;)

That’s my “think about whatever you want” time. And I was just shopping for homeowner insurance before I got in!

Cupcake's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I’m glad you got your local legal info.
I hope fixing the car and communicating with the family goes easier than this thread has.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I feel he should pay his part even though it was an accident and he didn’t mean any harm.

selavi's avatar

This just happened to me and yes, the owner’s insurance is liable for damage to the car. I was driving down a street at night, dog ran out in front of my car chasing a cat, I swirved to miss it but caught it on the corner of my car. Front end damage was done. The dog was not killed but it was hurt bad. The owners came running over and apologized. I was worried about the condition of the dog and we carried it to the house. One neighbor came out and said I could have been killed allmost swirving into oncoming traffic but I did not pay attention to the other car at the time. As everyone came out and saw the damage to my car, one man told me to verify insurance verification with owner of dog. The owner gave me all the information. All of you who disagree on this, thats fine and you have the option to pay out of pocket for your damages to your vehicle but if I would have hit the dog in their yard or on a leash crossing with the owner, then I would see it as my fault. Sure I worried and felt bad for the owners but common sense was, the damage was done to a vehicle as well and cost for fixing the vehicle is not cheap.

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