What can happen if 2 young men were walking by my house and my dog ran up to the fence barking but 1 of the men got scared and ran into the road and was hit by a car?

Can I be sued or held liable if nobody saw my dog get outside of the fence?

Asked on June 18, 2014 under Personal Injury, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are almost certainly NOT liable:

1) You were not negligent, or careless; you had your dog fenced, which is the reasonable thing to do.

2) That someone would get so scared by a *fenced* dog that he would panic and run off the sidewalk and into the road, and then happen to be hit by a car, is not a reasonable foreseeble (predicitable) outcome for this; as such, it is very unlikely that a court would find a sufficient causal link ("proximate cause") as to hold you liable.

3) Any liability you have would be ameliorated or offset by the injured person's greater liability in running into traffic.

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