View Full Version : Huskies Airbags and the law.

eastern wiseguy
12th Apr 2009, 18:52
Last night driving in for a nightshift I had a large Husky type dog run straight in front of my car. I had no chance....nor did it.....I hit it and both of my front airbags went off.

The dog was very badly injured and I got a few scrapes and abrasions. The car is in a secure place.

Any Ppruners had a similar event?.

I feel dreadful for the dog.

Am I liable for its vet fees? The "owner" was a twelve year old kid with another Husky with her(no lead/leash) and I called the police.

Is the kid(or her parents) liable for my damage?

Sorry ...just had to vent.....:{

12th Apr 2009, 19:00
Parents of kid with dogs are responsible as the dogs were not under proper control at the time. The fact that doggies were not on a leash also puts you in the clear as, iirc, that is actually an offence under things like the Road Traffic Act (or whatever it's been changed to nowadays).

12th Apr 2009, 19:02
Feel bad for you and the poor pup. :{ I hope it pulls through okay.

If you're in the States, there are leash laws the prevent the driver from being responsible for vet fees and depending on the state, you would likely have you car repairs covered as well. (although I've seen countless times where this ends up in small claims court, but the dog owners seldom prevail)

The owners are responsible for the dog and it's roaming. From my perspective, the 12 year old, being a minor, is a technicality, as the parents are responsible for his behavior.

12th Apr 2009, 19:23
If in the UK (don't know about anywhere else) report it to your insurance company (if the damage is above your excess) - assuming you have fully comp. cover. It should be a 'no fault' claim so won't affect your no claims bonus. It's then up to the company to claim against the dog owner (parents) if they so wish. The owner may have 3rd party insurance in a household or pet policy.

Otherwise you are going to have to rely on the goodwill of the parents to cough up for the damage. Unless they have pet cover they will have some big vet bills so may not be willing. In no way are you responsible for the damage to the dog.

Paying the excess on your insurance claim will be a lot less painful than going through the small claims system.

Whatever you do you are likely to be out of pocket - one of those things.

12th Apr 2009, 19:30
In years gone by (in the UK) you had to report any collision between your vehicle and a dog.
Don't know about current law.

Edited to add:-
Road Traffic Accidents Involving Animals

Dogs and Various Other Animals

If you hit a dog, causing injury or death, you must give your details (your own and/or the vehicle owner's name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle) to anyone having reasonable grounds for requiring them.

If this is not possible, you must report the accident to the Police as soon as possible, and within 24 hours.

This is a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The above also applies to:

* Cattle
* Horses
* Asses
* Mules
* Pigs
* Sheep
* Goats

If your dog is involved in an accident, then you may be held liable for any costs involved.
Note:- not cats . . .

12th Apr 2009, 20:17
I apologise if this seems unhelpful, but I would contact a lawyer as soon as practicable.

There are several layers here, it seems to me, from the parental liability for the actions of the child/dog, to someone deciding the injury to the dog has caused unutterable stress to the child that was meant to be keeping it under control, not forgetting of course, any damage to your vehicle or injury sustained by you that develops after the event (soft tissue injury sometimes takes a while to develop) together with the speed you were driving at etc etc etc.

Something like this can be cut so many ways, you need to be sure that you at least have the right advice, even if you don't retain someone to act for you.

In situations like this I think experts are needed... but that's just my view :ok:

12th Apr 2009, 20:30
And don't forget to report it to the Police (within 24 hours if possible) . . .

Standard Noise
12th Apr 2009, 21:06
ew, a night out on the lash with DE and you'd be used to running into husky dogs, usually in Benedicts!:}
Had a few near misses with deer on the Mendips, not managed to clang one yet though.

12th Apr 2009, 21:07

Are you a lawyer by any chance?

That sort of attitude is too prevalent today.

Guy hit a dog that was not on a lead (not his fault)
Dog injured (not his responsibility)
Police informed (as required by law - in UK anyway)
Guy wants to know how to cover the damage to his car.
Why the *** does he need a lawyer?

Or have I missed the sarcasm?

Standard Noise
12th Apr 2009, 21:13
And why shouldn't he see/speak to a lawyer for some advice?

ew just had a thought, have you got motor legal protection? Talk to your insurance company and see what they can do for you.

12th Apr 2009, 21:26
foresight - no I am not a lawyer, but in this increasingly litigious society of ours I just think where an accident or problem or situation involves children (or a child) it would be wise to be sure that everything has been done to ensure no possible come-back. On the face of it, it is absolutely as you describe, but if this incident occurred in the UK then in this glorious (tongue-in-cheek) 21st century society we find ourselves in, where the innocent are so often dealt with as baddies, it can't hurt to get an expert opinion.

I understand from other threads before, that many lawyers these days offer either a free initial consultation or a discounted one.

I am probably being super-cautious but as the original question included doubt as to liability for vet bills as well as compensation for vehicle damage, then it may be that some words or apology or offer to help with vet bills was uttered and while at the time this may have been brushed aside, the power of the "good friend" who encourages someone to sue after an event can bring up all sorts of nonsense. I just don't think it hurts to cover all eventualities :ok:

cockney steve
12th Apr 2009, 21:34
Everyone's assuming that this took place in the UK....if it did, prepare for the car to be written-off:eek:

the cost of the parts(often including a complete dashboard "skin" the labour and the necessity for airbags to go by specialist carriage (explosives!) and you can see why many cars~ 3 or4 years old are being scrapped for relatively minor damage....forgot to add that seatbelt pretensioners fall into the same"explosive" category...so add them on to the bill.

I go with the majority.....your insurance will normally fight this for you,that's what you pay your premiums for, though in the case of third-party, fire, theft cover only, you will normally have to do that yourself or find a solicitor who SPECIALISES in road traffic accidents....DON'T rely on the village guy who lives off conveyancing, wills and the like.

The other side pay your losses, inc. the solicitor's bill (assuming they accept liability) It's in their interest to settle quickly and cleanly.

eastern wiseguy
12th Apr 2009, 21:42
Thanks for the input folks....even you Standard...Benedicts!! waaaay too old for that:ok:

Yes it did happen in the UK.I did not offer any opinion as to "guilt" nor admit any liability.Short of asking for someone to endeavour to find assistance for the dog(I was too busy trying to stop traffic hitting me or the other "good samaritans...the police not exactly busting their humps to attend).

I will speak to the insurance company in the morning.I know where the dogs came from.......suffice to say I am holding out NO false hope as to them holding any form of insurance.(for Standard....Kilcooley)

12th Apr 2009, 21:43
Had a similar incident in mid 80s. Hit a dog on a country road. Head on, doing about 80 km/h. I saw him coming but judged it too unsafe to perform any avoidance/breaking maneuver. My wife, to this day, mentions how I purposely killed the dog. I always ask would she have preferred that I rolled the car with her and the kids in it to avoid the dog.

No airbags in those days. Front license plate holder only damage. I called the police, they said need to report only above certain amount of damage, which it was not.

Went back to see what happened, to the dog. He was dead, but gone. The people living near the road gave me back my license plate, but it did not seem to be their dog.

Sad, but better him than 4 people in the car...

12th Apr 2009, 21:54
I was taught to drive by my father, who had considerable experience. He started my instruction way before I was old enough to apply for a licence.
He said 'never swerve to avoid a dog, as you may hit a human'.

12th Apr 2009, 22:10

OK. The presence of a child may have made it all the more upsetting for Eastern wiseguy but is otherwise immaterial. It is clear that the dog owner is responsible.

The first port of call is his insurance company. If he only has 3rd party then he may need to go to a lawyer to recover his costs and , in my experience, the insurance company can give guidance on this as well. It could be a lengthy and stressful experience. Especially if the car is a write off and the parents do not have the money. However he would have been aware of the risks if he took out 3rd party only.

As regards possible injury to himself, he has 2 years in which to make a claim.

i just believe in taking things slowly and feel that the insurance company should sort it all out - we pay them enough. It may well be that the parents have 3rd party insurance on a household policy to cover the dog, in which everyone's problem is solved. We also have to start by trusting people's best instincts. It would be extremely unlikely - and very, very foolish - that the parents would lodge a claim for a distressed child.

Leave the lawyers out of it if the insurers can do the job. As for a free, initial legal consultation, wait for the insurance situation to be clarified so you have the information. The second consultation won't be free.

12th Apr 2009, 22:29
He said 'never swerve to avoid a dog, as you may hit a human'.

My rally driving experience has taught me that trying to avoid holes in the road or critters crossing the road can be a lot more dangerous than aiming the steering wheel where the eyes are aiming. Looking too close in front of you, and concentrating on details, trying to avoid is far more dangerous than just driving over them.

(OK, maybe try to avoid a skunk, but that's another story...)

Standard Noise
12th Apr 2009, 22:59
(for Standard....Kilcooley)

Still breathing aren't you? I'd say that was a result in itself.

13th Apr 2009, 07:07
Remember an incident a few years ago when a nun driving and mini van full of kids swerved to avoid a rabbit. Several dead. Pretty well the first thing I tell my kids when they learn to drive. Swerve for humans if you need to. Don't for animals.

Dan Winterland
13th Apr 2009, 08:01
One of my cousins swerved for a dog a few years back.

Results: Dog - OK. Car - Writeoff. Cousin - Hospital.

13th Apr 2009, 14:23
I do attempt to avoid wildlife, but you do have to know how much swerve you can get out the car without losing it. Someday it may be a child; so, the exercise is worthwhile.

Hitting dogs is bad enough, but hitting moose and elk is often fatal for the occupants of the car as most of the weight comes through the windshield:uhoh:

I did have to brake suddenly to avoid an elk crossing a highway diagonally in my direction and got a complaining honk from the tosser driving behind who seemed not to have noticed:}

eastern wiseguy
13th Apr 2009, 15:12
Well it seems that the visit to the lawyer is on. The insurance company...with the comedy phone and mouse...have told me that I am going to lose TWO years no claims bonus and I have an excess to pay......ho hum..so much for being fully comp

sled dog
13th Apr 2009, 20:25
I feel very sorry for the dog...
( check my user name, i used to own Siberian Huskies.....)

13th Apr 2009, 20:52
I had a similar experience sometime ago, whilst driving a company vehicle I hit a couple of alsations who were being walked by a 12 year old - neither on leads.
Fortunately they weren't too badly hurt, I did all the right things in reporting etc only for the owners to take legal action against me to recover vets fees and compensation for "distress and hurt".
They withdrew as soon as my employers lawyers curtly pointed out that even if it could be proved that I was at fault, the owners would be pursued for damage to the vehicle as they allowed someone out with the dogs who was clearly incapable of controlling them even if they had been leashed, it would have come up under the laws pertaining to control of dogs etc.

If I were you, I would take suitable advice about dropping the claim via your insurers and suing the owners via the small claims court for allowing their dogs out without proper supervision.
It may cost you 200 or so to get the advice and make the claim(it may even be covered under your home insurance if you don't have such a provision within your motor insurance, if not, try a "no Win No Fee lawyer:yuk:) , but I think you are on fairly solid ground to win and be awarded all costs.

Gertrude the Wombat
13th Apr 2009, 21:12
Note:- not cats . . .
Because cats are "wild and ferocious beasts" and the law perfectly sensibly recognises that they are in chage of themselves and they own themselves and they are never under anybody's control.

13th Apr 2009, 21:20
Dogs do as they are told, cats will take a message and get back to you.

eastern wiseguy
13th Apr 2009, 21:21
I feel very sorry for the dog.

As do I....I have a friend in the Police who will be finding out its' condition.

I am frankly furious at the irresponsibility of the parents....:(:(

Dogs are STAFF....Cats HAVE staff

14th Apr 2009, 03:57

Not sure where you got that list from - it seems only to cover agriculture which may be a different section. I have not researched for an update but:-

From my understanding (I stand to be corrected).

In the UK you do not have to report an accident with a dog since the licence restrictions on dogs were lifted.

From my unfortunate knowledge (Was informed by traffic police on the roadside).

Wild animals belonging to the crown must also be reported - e.g. deer, swans (I found this little gem out after a deer severely damaged my car after running out in front of me on the M3).

It is also worth noting that whilst an accident you claim off your insurance may not affect your no claims bonus it will affect your insurance. When you are asked on an insurance quote (this is in the UK) you are asked how many claims in the last 3/4/5 years regardless of fault.

14th Apr 2009, 11:59
Road Traffic Accidents Involving Animals - Swindon Brough Council (http://www.swindon.gov.uk/environment/streetsmart-animalwelfare/environment-animal-dog-rta.htm)
Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/Ukpga_19880052_en_1.htm)
Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880052_en_3#pt1-pb6-l1g27)
Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880052_en_14#pt7-pb3-l1g170)
Road traffic accidents involving animals in The AnswerBank: Motoring: Road rules (http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Motoring/Road-rules/Question545307.html)
Your Rights in an Accident Caused by Animals - Traffic Accident Advice (UK) (http://www.trafficaccidentadvice.co.uk/YourRightsinanAccidentCausedbyAnimals.html)
Accidents Involving Animals (http://www.mooreblatch.com/accident-injury/claims-for-personal-injury/accidents-involving-animals/)

14th Apr 2009, 14:28
The person that hits a deer in the UK cannot, by Law, take the
dead Deer. The person in the car behind CAN take it.
Because then it is classified as "Road-Kill".

Just to stop you all going out to kill deers on the road. OK?
If you DO, take a friend to follow you and pick the bodies up.

cockney steve
14th Apr 2009, 15:42
E W ...whilst, theoretically, you would lose your "no claims bonus" , this becomes another loss to add to your claim....therefore it's recoverable from the irresponsible dog-owners ( whether they're insured or have the means, is another issue entirely.)

WRT "NCB" it is just that, according to my insurers...NO CLAIMS !

2 years ago I had 2 incidents in 2 different vehicles

1- carelessly backed car in rain and dark....unfortunately the black rubber side-bumper was pressed against the back wing of another car which sported a dent with WHITE marks....I was coerced into accepting liability and was shocked when the car was declared a writeoff :eek:

I advised the insurance co. the claim was fraudulent and the car must have been "doctored" , as the police had allowed the car to be driven away!...insurers said it was uneconomical to check and paid out :ooh:

The twist in the tail.... No damage to my car, not even a dull scuff on the rubber...no claim by me....so I didn't lose my NCB.

Second accident I pulled out of a junction to turn right and an oncoming motorist pulled-across the opposite side of the road and cut me off (should have held course and passed astern) I stopped her with my O/S/F wing....broke the indicator and dented the wing....her car....wing/bonnet/lamps/bumper/radiator..etc. totally uneconomic repair.

I didn't claim, didn't lose NCB....that's 2 different cars, 2 different insurers, and yes, the second one was told about the first, also the first was advised....neither wanted increased premiums or reduced NCB......odd business, insurance