If my dog hit by car, who is responsible for daamages to the car and injuries to my dog?

My niece’s dog was on a country road in front of my aunt and uncle’s house, a car hit the dog injuring him and caused damage to the vehicle that hit the dog. The people who hit the dog wants my niece to pay for their vehicle and not to pay for any injuries to her dog. My aunt was told that the country road in front of her house is considered their property and that my niece is responsible.

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is fault--and note that both parties may be at fault:

1) If the dog was loose, then to at least some degree your neice would be at fault--she allowed her dog into the road.

2) If the driver was not at fault (see below), then he or she could likely recover the cost to repair the car from your neice, and not have to pay for the dog's injuries, since the neice was at fault and the driver was not.

3) If the driver was also at fault--such as driving above the speed limit or too fast for conditions; talking or texting while driving; ignoring stop signs and the like; DUI; or generally driving carelessly)--then the relative balance of fault would determine who owes how much to the other.

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