Liability Involving Pets and Accidents
By Merry Fountain of Fountain Law Firm, PC
As a dog lover myself, I know how tragic it would be to have my dog hit by a car. As tragic as that is, there is further bad news for dog owners legally. Once your dog leaves your property and ends up on the roadway, there is a good possibility that they will cause a collision. Drivers either will have no opportunity to stop and hit them, or cause a collision by stopping suddenly or going on the wrong side of the road to avoid hitting them. Because dog owners are responsible for keeping their dogs on their own property, you may also be liable for any injuries and property damage that stem from the collision.
These cases are very fact specific. Indiana is a comparative fault state, so the findings would be determined based on division of fault between you, as a property owner responsible for your dog, and the driver of the vehicle. A recent Indiana decision involving these very issues involves Dawn Warrick and her son, Nathan, of Columbia City, Indiana. Read Court of Appeals affirms new trial on motorcyclist’s negligence claim.