Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

What if I accidentally hit a dog with my car yesterday...

and I left the scene because the dog just kept running? I stopped, but since the dog took off running I left also. This happened right down the street from my house. I drive a 2008 SUV, and it has a crack/dent in the front bumper, mid-sized damage, due to this incident & the size of the dog. The dog was a boxer, pretty big in size. Since it's a brand new SUV, and a Nissan, I estimate the cost to be pretty high, compared to a smaller car's damage. I was driving down my street and the dog just jumped out of no where and I pressed on the brakes, but I still managed to bump him a bit. I didnt notice the damage to my car until I got home, because I was still struck with shock that I had hit the dog. I live right down the street from where it happened. I love dogs, and since he didn't show any signs of injuries, or limping that I saw, I thought he was ok, so I kept going. Later, when I was sitting in my dining room, I saw a pick up truck, most likely the owners of the dog, stop by my house, and maybe even wrote the plate number of my SUV. What do I do? Do I report this to someone? Whom do I report it to?

I don't believe it was my fault, as the dog was loose, and it just ran in front of me. I couldn't have been going more than 25 mph (that is the limit in a residential area). I probably managed to slow down to about 10-15 mph when I hit it.

I am really confused, and I need advice on what to do, since my car has damage. Who do I contact or what do I do about this, most importantly the damage to my car? If the dog is injured, who pays?

Please let me know what I should do. I live in Arizona, & I do not know about the "leash law" here or any other applicable law involving pets, as this never happened to me before.

Thanks! All help is appreciated.

23 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The dog was loose.. you are under no obligation to stop or pay vet bills when you hit a dog (the only animal you have to report is when you hit a deer!)

    There are most likely leash laws in your area.. the owners were breaking the law by allowing the dog to be loose.

    If you can figure out who the owners are, you can actually sue them for the damages done to your vehicle. You had a right to be on the road.. the dog should have been leashed or in his own yard.

    The owners of the dog are responsible for the vet bills.. its because of their own neglect that their dog got hit by a car. Had he been leashed.. it wouldnt have happened.

    • Tim4 years agoReport

      This is 100% untrue. Facts do no care about your opinions. Dogs, sheep, horses, pigs, cows: you must* stop if you hit one, call 911, and they will forward you to animal control. It's a federal law. *If on freeway / highway, you're supposed to call 911 when it's safe to stop.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


  • 1 decade ago

    Any injury to the dog is the responsibility or the owner seeing as it was running free. Depending on your by-laws will depend on whether you should have reported it when it happened or not. Where I live you are obligated to report hitting a dog, many places you are not.

    As for the damage to the car that too would have been down to the dog owner seeing as it caused the accident, but this may not be applicable now seeing as you did not report it at the time. I'm taking it you have no witnesses either? You need to look into this right away.

    I'm wondering why the bumper was so badly damaged though if you were really only going at most 25mph. 10-15mph there should have been no damage at all. Vehicles should have a much higher impact resistance than that. My husband is an auto designer/engineer says that there has to of been a fault in the bumper for a dog to break it at such low speeds especially a medium sized dog such as a Boxer. While only the Armada has a 5 star crash rating of all the Nissan SUV's the others have a 4 star rating which means such a small incident should have left no damage at all at that speed. In fact he says he would be worried about even driving something that had such low impact resistance if all was well at that speed.

    You would best off to contact the police about the accident, but without witnesses it maybe hard now to prove how it happened. You also need to contact your insurance and ask them what happens with the damage. Seeing as you did not report it at the time chances are your insurance will have to pay. Had you of reported it at the time though 100% the dogs owners would have to pay if you knew who they were. You would probably have to taken them to small claims court, but would have won hands down. May still be worth a try. See what the police say.

  • 4 years ago

    Sorry, but regardless of the presence of a leash law, you were negligent as well. I know this flies in the face of what others are saying here. Why? Because the max posted speed limit is not necessarily the safest maximum speed at which you can travel on a roadway. The fact that the dog ran in front of your car is a nonissue. You were traveling faster than you could safely stop/control your vehicle...OR you weren't alert to the driving conditions. Whether there were cars parked along the road, foliage along the street, or you were dialing your phone, it doesn't matter. Would you have the same response and attitude had it been a child? If the damage to your suv was that noticeable, you can imagine the injury sustained by the dog. You could have contacted your insurance agent to discuss the matter. If you were determined to be liable to any extent, you have insurance coverage. Those vet bills, assuming the dog even makes it, can be expensive.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yikes, I'm sorry to hear that both for you and the dog. I don't know about the law but I would think if the owners actually said anything about paying for a vet bill you could counter with the car damage bill....hopefully nothing will come of it (although it sucks for all involved) it would be best left alone. Maybe the owners felt angry too and wrote down your license number just to be proactive and feel better. I know I've taken pictures of my car in front of signs after I've gotten a ticket because I was mad at the time...and that cooled me off a wasn't worth actually following through with getting the ticket removed so I ended up paying it...but at that moment when I arrived and saw it there the taking a picture of it helped to ease my furry. Anyway, hopefully the same with the dog owner. If not and you have to counter with the car damage and the dog being off of the leash, then hopefully that would only have to ever escalate into a verbal threat....That's what I'm guessing will happen. Hopefully no legal action. But again, I would doubt it:) Take care!

  • miaugh
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If the dog was not leashed and away from it's owner, it is not your fault that it was hit in the road. I don't know what you could have done about contacting the owner, since the dog ran off, so it's not exactly a clear-cut case of hit and run.

    You should probably contact the police about the incident. The owner of the dog may be liable for the damage to your car, and most likely it is his responsibility for his own vet bills. If you had hit the dog while he was up on the sidewalk, leashed, it would have been your fault.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you were going at the speed limit, and the dog ran out of no where, then there is nothing you could of done. Even if you did hurt him you can't really be blamed. You kept to the law, (the speed limit,) and you are not responsible for that dog, where he goes, when he's off the lead, when he decides to run infront of cars. Maybe you should just appoligise to the owners of the dog out of good will. If they threaten to go to the police then you could go instead. You could go to them and explain exactly what happened, just to clear the air. Maybe there were witnesses about? Anyway, it's not your fault so try not to loose to much sleep over it :)

    Also, if any action should take place then it should be the owners of the dog that pay for your car damage.

    Hope i've helped...Good luck :)

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The absolutely free reverse vin check sites generally provide fake information. To get real information, money will have to be paid. The free searches provide fake information so they can get your email address to send spam.

    Stay away from shady reverse vin check sites, most likely you won't get any information after you make the payment. Not to mention you won't get a report and you won't get an answer if you try to call for a refund. Stick with a reputable reverse vin check site like that has been around since 1995.

  • 1 decade ago

    If their dog was at large and you were doing the speed limit and didn't hit the dog on purpose, I don't think there would be any action the owners could take against you, other than perhaps the "not stopping" issue.

    You could try to call your local bylaw control number and asking them their opinion.

    As for the damage to your car, that's a tricky issue, as asking the owners of the dog to pay for the damage would be making lifelong enemies of them... also there might have been injuries to the dog, even though it "ran off". Your best bet is to appologize to the owners, and pay for your own damages.

  • 1 decade ago

    The owners of the dog are at fault and bear the responsibility of paying for their dog's medical bills and at the very least your deductible. I am surprised they are even trying to find you because I am sure they know they are at fault. I would file a report at the police station. This can probably be done over the phone or they will send someone out.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In my opinion you are NOT at fault. The dog was loose. It is the owner's responsibility to keep the dog at home. So I don't think you should pay if the dog is hurt. If anything comes up of this you can always claim what you just said. You got out of your car....tried to get the dog to come back to you...he/she ran what were you supposed to do? Chase the dog home? He/she may not have gone home, so there was no need for you to chase him/her.

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