Dog owners liable for personal injury costs

Dog owners need to be aware that they are liable to pay compensation if their dog causes a car accident. This news may come as a surprise to dog owners who would never imagine that they would have to pay for the cost of an incident involving their pet. For most animal lovers the thought of hitting a dog or cat whilst driving is abhorrent and for the owners the risk of their animal being hit and maybe even killed is certainly a significant concern.

If however it can be proven that the accident was unavoidable from the driver's point of view, then the dog owner is liable to pay compensation to the driver for the damage to their car and personal injury compensation if they have been hurt. This can all add up to thousands of pounds. This is worrying as many dog owners do not realise that they are liable to pay for damages caused in an accident and fail to take out pet insurance. In the event that someone made a compensation claim against them they would not be covered for costs.

When asked, more than 48% of people said that they would be prepared to sue a dog owner, whose dog caused an accident or injury, including a road traffic accident. 2.4 million drivers have had an accident involving a dog running in front of their car and more than 190,000 drivers have sought costs to repair their damaged vehicles. Additionally, the cost of treating injuries suffered by an animal in a road accident is around 50 - 70 per cent higher than the average vet's bill.

So don't forget, if you’re a dog owner make sure that you’re covered for the possible actions of your dog. If it causes an accident and someone’s injured then you will be liable. If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a dog then you are entitled to claim compensation if the accident can be proven to have been unavoidable.



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*Where replacement vehicle costs can be recovered from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Where this person is untraceable or uninsured, or where there is a dispute over liability, a replacement vehicle cannot be provided.