If I hit a dog and damaged my car,is the dog’s owner obliged to pay for my car’s damage?

Early in the morning, around 5:00 am I was driving to work. There was fog all over and I wasn’t overspeeding. Until I saw a dog on the other side/lane of the road. I figured it wasn’t on the side of the road where I’m driving so I continued driving with a speed of 55-60 mph since 55 is the speed limit and I believe 60 is not considered over speeding. I saw the dog moved as if he got scared or shocked. However, instead of running away from my car, it ran on the side where I’m driving. That’s when it got hit. Now my anti-freeze leaks and I can’t drive my car until I get it fixed. Who’s responsible for my car’s damage – me or the dog’s owner? I didn’t call the police at the time of accident because I was scared because I don’t have driver’s license.

Asked on April 10, 2017 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The dog's owner is liable for negligence for allowing the dog to run loose which resulted in the damage to your car from the accident.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Therefore, the dog's owner is liable for the cost of repairs to your car.


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