If someone hits your dog with their vehicle, are you responsible for the damages to their vehicle?

Live on a tarred lake road. Kids playing fetch with the dog, went out of the yard across the road. Truck hit dog, then the camper he was towing. Asking us to pay for damages. Note: Neighborhood says his wife hit and killed a dog with same vehicle the week before. No verification of this at this time. Didn’t know he was going to go after us for the damages.

Asked on August 17, 2012 under Accident Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you (or your children) were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in letting the dog out onto the street, then you could be liable for the damage to the vehicle. However, if the other driver was also negligent (e.g. speeding), then that could reduce what you'd have to pay, and even possibly let you sue for the economic value (i.e. cost) of your dog. The basic issue is: who was negligent, or careless, and to what degree.


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