Is the driver partially responsible for vet care after dog was hit?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is the driver partially responsible for vet care after dog was hit?

I was in my front yard with 2 other people and my dog. My dog was in my driveway, at the end but still in my driveway and my neighbor a few doors down was looking down at his cell phone and speeding at least 45/50 on a cul de sac street in a development as he always does and hit my dogs back leg. I quickly yelled at him, as I grabbed my dog who suffered an obvious open fracture and bleeding profusely and he sped off down the street yelling ‘sorry’.

My question is, I know its a class 3 misdeamnor to hit a dog and not stop and file a police report in Virginiawhere we reside and happended. So can I see if they are first willing to file an insurance claim to help cover the costs? Or should I just file a police report and go from there. So far, they do not seem receptive to helping with the medical costs. Let me be clear, I am not looking to make any money. I just want them to assist with the medical costs of my dog.

Asked on April 18, 2018 under Accident Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the driver was at fault in injuring your dog, as they were if they were driving distractedly and/or speeding, they are liable, or responsible for, the vet costs. If they will not voluntarily pay you or put in a claim against their insurance--and you cannot force them to put in a claim to their own insurer--your recourse would be to sue them for the money. Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," so as to avoid legal bills, is likely your fastest, most cost effective, and simplest way to get reimbursement if he chooses to not pay or put in the claim.

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