If my dog was hit by a truck is the owner of the truck responsible?

My dog was a with her handler a quadriplegic
who sits in wheelchair. He was on the busy
road with her. She chewed through the leash
and he asked a neighbor 16yr old boy help
him retrieve her. She was scared and ran away
from the boy and her handler. The truck was
driving north on route 7 in 45 mph zone. He
said he didnt see her and dragged her under
his truck for 100 feet. My dogs body was very
broken. Her neck appeared to be broken and
her face and muzzle were severely injured and
teeth were broken.

Asked on November 14, 2018 under Accident Law, Vermont

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The truck driver and/or owner would only be responsible if the driver had been negligent, or unreasonably careless, in some way, such as by speeding, texting while driving, hitting your dog because he ran through a red light or stop sign, etc. If he was not driving carelessly--if it was simply that your dog ran in front of the truck--he would not be liable or responsible. Note that even if he were responsible, you could only sue for the dog's economic value--i.e. its cost--which unless the dog was an expensively trained service animal or expensive purebreed, would not be much money.


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