If coming home from work at 11:00 pm I hit a dog on a country road who had no business being there, do I have any case against the dog owners?

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If coming home from work at 11:00 pm I hit a dog on a country road who had no business being there, do I have any case against the dog owners?

The insurance had their shop repair my vehicle and of $2100. I paid my $500 deductible. They had my car for three weeks. I was told it was fixed. Picked up Friday and saw a leak Saturday. I took it to a different shop who said there was still $1700 worth of damage that the shop didn’t fix. Now I’m out more money for a rental car, have missed time at work and been out a car for more than three weeks. Do I also have any case against the negligent repair shop?

Asked on August 12, 2015 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) The dog's owners *may* be liable if, as may have been the case, they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in letting their dog roam unsupervised at that time of night. However, if you were also negligent--e.g. driving too fast; not paying close attention; etc.--so that you could have avoided the dog if you were being more careful, your own negligence will offset and reduce--possibly eliminate, if you were sufficiently negligent--anything you could recover from them. Note also that if you were negligent and sue them, them could countersue for their own costs--e.g. the cost of the dog, if it died; vet bills, if they took it to the vet; etc. (But if you were negligent, you would not be liable.)

2) If the repair shop was negligent in terms of making repairs, then you could sue them for the additional costs caused by their negligence, or for the cost to correct problems which they did not correct. You would need to be able to show, such as with testimony from another  mechanic, that the repair work was negligent.


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