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?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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