Hit and killed a neighbor's loose dog this morning

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I was driving my fiancee's PT Cruiser back to the house, and neighbor's loose yellow lab ran at full speed right into the street, and it never saw me coming. The woman who owns the dog was crying, saying it was chasing a cat across the street. I wish dog owners in our neighborhood were more responsible with their animals, just like we are with our dog. The police came, and he said that they are 100% responsible for the damages to the car. Front left side of the bumper is caved in, the front grill was pushed in, there's dog hair stuck in the bead of the wheel and tire, and I've got this vision of the dog getting hit by the car, flipping upside down, and spinning away from my car, coming to a stop next to the wheel of a car parked on the other side of the street. I'm very sad that the dog died. I'm unhappy about the damage to the car. But what I'm really upset about is the fact that the accident happened in the first place. I'm not quite sure how to proceed at this point. My gf's insurance company wants us to pursue the damages through the dog owners home owners policy, instead of through comprehensive coverage on her car policy. Going that route saves us the deductible, but then makes us have to put the dog owners through even more grief than they already are going through. If we do it through comprehensive/collision, our car insurance said that they have nearly no chance of getting the deductible back from the dog owner's homeowners policy, and it would potentially remove our discount for no claims/safe driver. The officer said that if we want, he will write the dog owners a ticket for an at large dog, that caused property damage, and all we would have to do is submit the cost of repairs to the court, and that would be included in any damages filed against the dog owner. It's a situation I never wanted to be in, and could use a bit of help figuring out, if anyone has any solid advice. BC.
 
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I had this happen to me before as a dog owner who got distracted by my two year old daughter. My lab got away from me while I was attending my daughter. He got ran over and killed. My insurance handled the car repairs and pain and suffering by the driver and occupant.
 

ZeeOSix

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Originally Posted By: Bladecutter
But what I'm really upset about is the fact that the accident happened in the first place.
Unfortunate accident ... sorry it turned out bad. But ultimately the dog owner's fault. Accidents like this happen because the dog owner in this case had zero fore thought of what can happen when a dog is running loose around a road with traffic. The dog owner's homeowner's insurance might cover your damages. Check it out.
 
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Sorry to hear that this happened. I am not too familiar with the claims side of insurance (I work on the underwriting side), but I am a bit surprised that your auto carrier is stating that they have little/zip chance of recovering your deductible from the homeowner's policy. If the homeowner is at-fault, and there are no limits issues, then they should not have a problem with subrogating and recovering the deductible. With that said, I'm a bit more inclined to start the claim with the homeowner's policy.
 
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Man that sucks!! I was under the impression it is your insurance co's job to collect the deductible in a case where you have ZERO fault in the accident. In fact since this is an accident where another vehicle was not involved, and a homeowners policy is involved, I believe it is your insurance co's job to collect from your neighbor's homeowners policy. This accident shouldn't cost you or your insurance company a dime. I'm pretty sure it is your insurance companies job to represent you in this, and collect the $$, or pay you for your loss and go after the homeowners policy for their money. Maybe it varies by state?
 
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It should be a simple matter to file a claim with the dog owners insurance company. If it becomes too much of a hassle, fall back on your gf's insurance.
 
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Originally Posted By: demarpaint
Man that sucks!! I was under the impression it is your insurance co's job to collect the deductible in a case where you have ZERO fault in the accident. In fact since this is an accident where another vehicle was not involved, and a homeowners policy is involved, I believe it is your insurance co's job to collect from your neighbor's homeowners policy. This accident shouldn't cost you or your insurance company a dime. I'm pretty sure it is your insurance companies job to represent you in this, and collect the $$, or pay you for your loss and go after the homeowners policy for their money. Maybe it varies by state?
That's exactly what I was thinking. Why the heck should you have to do all the legwork? That's there job.
 
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While I personally try to be easy going and understanding in every situation, this is clearly a case of a dog owner not watching or protecting their dog. It's one reason I don't own dogs anymore even though I would love to have one, I simply have too many other responsibilities at this point in my life. It bothers me for people to own a dog and yet not take care of it or to think we all live in some kind of "born free" environment where all "creatures great and small" get along and there's no harm or danger. You mention that the owners said the dog was chasing a cat. What if the dog caught the cat and killed it - what then? Apparently the dog had no discipline. What if the dog decided to chase a little child riding a bicycle and bit the child - what then? My guess would be they never though nor considered any of these possibilities and dangers. The dog owners are clearly at fault and you should not feel bad in pursuing this so that your girlfriends car is put right again. If indeed they are that irresponsible, don't be surprised if you come out the bad guy (according to them) for not feeling their pain and eating your financial loss. Stick to your guns however, this could be an important lesson for them. Sorry for the rant, but people who don't know how to care for and protect their animals shouldn't have them to begin with.
 
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The sad part is that they will probably run right out and buy another dog,and have another one running loose,to die again.
 
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Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
Sorry for the rant, but people who don't know how to care for and protect their animals shouldn't have them to begin with.
+1
 

FZ1

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Seems like the problem should be your insurance company's problem. Check out Allstate insurance,They seem pretty good.
 
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We've had large dogs and nobody who has had them has never had one get loose. Getting away is a game for the dog, which is the reason they always have that happy, tongue lolling out of mouth expression when they do. Our Pyrenees would have been more than happy to have dispatched most of the local cat population had we let him, to the benefit of the local bird population. Now, if you hit the dog while doing nothing foolish, like speeding down a residential street, you are in no way at fault. Had you hit our dog while driving too fast, you'd have had more to worry about from me than from any insurer. I once hit a family dog that darted out into the street, causing minor damage to my MGB. The family offered to pay to fix the damage. I told them not to worry about it. You should probably do the same. You've killed someone's family member, which a dog becomes, even though you didn't intend to. Suck it up, pay the deductible and be done with it.
 

gathermewool

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
We've had large dogs and nobody who has had them has never had one get loose. Getting away is a game for the dog, which is the reason they always have that happy, tongue lolling out of mouth expression when they do. Our Pyrenees would have been more than happy to have dispatched most of the local cat population had we let him, to the benefit of the local bird population. Now, if you hit the dog while doing nothing foolish, like speeding down a residential street, you are in no way at fault. Had you hit our dog while driving too fast, you'd have had more to worry about from me than from any insurer. I once hit a family dog that darted out into the street, causing minor damage to my MGB. The family offered to pay to fix the damage. I told them not to worry about it. You should probably do the same. You've killed someone's family member, which a dog becomes, even though you didn't intend to. Suck it up, pay the deductible and be done with it.
The owner of the dog was negligent, regardless of whether this is usual or a one-time escape. Had he been on a motorcycle and dropped it, then this discussion would be a lot different. IMO, only the OP can determine whether the OP will benefit from the lesson of having to make a claim against her home policy, vice letting it slide if he determines this instance to be atypical of how the owner says she normally maintainers her dogs. Something else to consider: big dog + 20-25 mph + no time to react = lots of damage. I wouldn't jump to conclusions based on the level of damage. Extenuating circumstances: if the OP was speeding, or even going slightly over the limit, then he should eat the cost, even if speed was not determined to be a factor.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Getting away is a game for the dog, which is the reason they always have that happy, tongue lolling out of mouth expression when they do.
Since when? My dog (basically an untrained wild monster - entirely my fault) won't tolerate being outside without a leash. If she finds herself in that situation she'll look for me and immediately come running and try to climb my leg or if she doesn't see me she'll lie down like a limp sausage and wait. There's no lolling tongue, her mouth is either closed or barking to demand that I pick her up. The dog I had before her was a much better family dog. When she managed to get the leash out of my hand she'd stop moving and freeze right on the spot. There was no time to go making happy faces for her, just "I'm loose! I turn into statue!"
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
We've had large dogs and nobody who has had them has never had one get loose. Getting away is a game for the dog, which is the reason they always have that happy, tongue lolling out of mouth expression when they do. Our Pyrenees would have been more than happy to have dispatched most of the local cat population had we let him, to the benefit of the local bird population. Now, if you hit the dog while doing nothing foolish, like speeding down a residential street, you are in no way at fault. Had you hit our dog while driving too fast, you'd have had more to worry about from me than from any insurer. I once hit a family dog that darted out into the street, causing minor damage to my MGB. The family offered to pay to fix the damage. I told them not to worry about it. You should probably do the same. You've killed someone's family member, which a dog becomes, even though you didn't intend to. Suck it up, pay the deductible and be done with it.
Tough call, but if the OP pays the deductible and puts it on his insurance, and then is involved in another accident is a short enough time period before his insurance would again allow an accident without raising the rate, the increase in rate could be a heck of a lot more than the deductible, especially since a raise in the premium can last for several years. This is a big hidden, questionable, possible, cost in the future. So along with looking at the cost of being a nice person and bearing the deductible today, consider how much it could cost you in the future. If you are financially very well healed so that even with this additional hidden possible gotcha in the future, it would not be a financial burden, then it might make sense to "man up". But if like most people the loss of that no increase in premiums would be a big deal if you got into another accident in the near future, then you have to do what is just for the financial welfare of your family. Make them cover it.
 
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At least you are ok and did the right thing by not avoiding the dog and potentially harming yourself or someone els.
 
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It isn't always about money. It's sometimes about how we treat our fellow beings. It's also about whether the financial cost is worth retaining the good feelings of those we live around. IMHO, this is a case where the OP should just man up and take the dollar hit. I would and have. This may also save him local grief down the road.
 

FZ1

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If it's considered a comprehensive claim the deductible is only about $50,so,you are only out $50. Your insurance company then tries to recover from the owner's insurance and you don't have to say,do,anything further. See what kind of a claim it is.
 
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