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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Dog killed by car, family billed for the damages

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Published On Wed May 26 2010, Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew
Staff Reporter

When Kim Flemming arrived home from work on March 23 and let the dog out, she didn’t know these were the last few moments she would see the family’s beloved yellow Lab alive.

Twelve-year-old Jake loved to roam the area around the Flemmings’ Leslie St. home in Aurora.

“Next thing I knew there was a knock on the door and a gentleman said, ‘Do you have a dog? He’s on the road,’ ” Flemming recalled. “This lady had hit him. I got to the road and he was dying. He died in my arms.”

About two months later, on May 17, Flemming received a bill for $1,732.80 from State Farm Insurance.

The letter, which included five pages of documentation and three pages of photographs, explained that State Farm had received a claim for damages from the driver.

“Our investigation into this matter has found you to be 100-per-cent responsible. As such, we are looking to you for reimbursement,” the letter stated.

The bill included the cost of parts and labour for fixing the bumper, as well as the cost of a rental car.

“We’ve lost part of our family and now we have to reimburse this insurance company? It brought back the grief for us all,” Flemming said.

State Farm interviewed the driver, police and other witnesse, said spokesman John Bordignon, adding that Canadian courts have found that the rules of negligence apply in such cases.

“This is an incredibly unfortunate circumstance, but we’re going by the precedent that we have. We see no negligence on the part of the driver and according to law, we believe the owners were negligent in the sense that they could have made sure their dog wasn’t free on the roadway,” Bordignon said.

“By law, we have a right to pursue our customer’s interest in this matter in terms of the damage to the vehicle.”

State Farm has told the Flemmings it can pursue costs through their homeowner liability insurance, rather than through them personally, Bordignon added.

Asked how a case involving a pet would differ from one involving a pedestrian or cyclist, Bordignon responded: “We look at each case on its individual merits. We have to consider the rights of our customers who incurred damage or injury, but depending on the situation all circumstances are looked at before any decision to subrogate is made.

“There are many instances where we haven’t pursued subrogation when a pedestrian or cyclist is killed in a motor vehicle accident.”

The Flemmings said Jake, who weighed about 70 pounds, was accustomed to roaming the area around the family’s home.

Aurora bylaws require a pet to be on a leash when off the owner’s property.

The family has informed State Farm they do not plan to pay the bill, and are considering their options.

“The whole thing is just macabre. We were deemed 100-per-cent responsible. Isn’t the driver responsible for how they operate their vehicle?” Flemming said.

“I think going to this level is insulting,” Flemming’s daughter, Katherine, said, her voice breaking. “We’ve lost a member of our family but we’re supposed to pay for the damage to her bumper? That’s just wrong.”
From: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/arti...or-the-damages

What do you think? Are the owners responsible for paying the car repair bill?
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  #2  
Old May 27th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Well I probably will not make a popular statement - but they should pay the bills for the vehicle involved in the incident.

The dog was their responsibility in ensuring the dog's safety as well as those around. This incident could have very well taken the life of a human being trying to avoid a collison.

In the end, the dog payed with his life due to negligence.

The fact that someone came to their door, asked them if they had a dog, clearly indicates that this dog was not supervised at all.

So - this heafty bill will ensure the safety of perhaps their next family member. Hopefully, they will take their responsibility more seriously.

My condolences however to this family and of course my thoughts are with the dog.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:16 AM
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Well I probably will not make a popular statement - but they should pay the bills for the vehicle involved in the incident.

The dog was their responsibility in ensuring the dog's safety as well as those around. This incident could have very well taken the life of a human being trying to avoid a collison.

In the end, the dog payed with his life due to negligence.

The fact that someone came to their door, asked them if they had a dog, clearly indicates that this dog was not supervised at all.

So - this heafty bill will ensure the safety of perhaps their next family member. Hopefully, they will take their responsibility more seriously.
I totally agree.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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It really isn't much different to a driver hitting livestock that has strayed and in my country at least I think the owner of the livestock is responsible. If the dog often strayed and that was against the law, how could they avoid being held accountable?
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Yup, the owner of the dog should pay for the damages. Owners should be responsible for that their dog, which includes ensuring that it is not roaming out on street.

In Edmonton, pedestrians who jaywalked and were hit by cars have been billed for damages too.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:13 AM
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i agree 100% with the insurance companies choice. Basically the owner of Jake is stating they were negligent on a regular basis by letting him roam free. As BM said someone else could have been killed too by the driver trying to avoid the dog. And as far as i know, unless crossing at a crosswalk a human is responsible for damages if they jaywalk and cause an accident. Drivers have to take tests, then pay yearly for the right to use roads, i'm sure most drivers would try to avoid hitting anything, but shouldn't be punished if a human or animal runs into their path.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:16 AM
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Yes, I agree that the dog owners should pay. It is due to their own actions that the dog died, the driver sustained financial and most likely emotional damage as well....
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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yes they should pay, its happened many times before, a friend of ours hit a cow that was out of its pasture, the farm had to pay for damages to the truck etc....and they should also be fined for allowing their dog to run free endangering its life...
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:15 AM
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As sad as this is, especially for the dog, I feel the dog owners are responsible 100%! If they loved and cared about thier dog so much, they would not have let him roam free.

There are also cases where dogs have "escaped" (were well cared for and looked after properly) who have been hit and caused damages and the dog owners are STILL responsible. Those cases are heart breaking.

This case was an accident waiting to happen.

Jake
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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I even think I would sue them for pain and suffering. If I would hit a dog because some idiot owners let them roam free outisde, I would be the one with the nightmares I would be the one with those images in my head.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I even think I would sue them for pain and suffering. If I would hit a dog because some idiot owners let them roam free outisde, I would be the one with the nightmares I would be the one with those images in my head.
I would be the same way, I think it would be hard for me to drive again.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I even think I would sue them for pain and suffering. If I would hit a dog because some idiot owners let them roam free outisde, I would be the one with the nightmares I would be the one with those images in my head.
Oh good one Frenchy! Very true too.

Now what I find interesting is that the woman makes the statement that the dog was a 'family member'. So I certainly hope that they have no small toddlers that are allowed to go running around unsupervised.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Oh good one Frenchy! Very true too.

Now what I find interesting is that the woman makes the statement that the dog was a 'family member'. So I certainly hope that they have no small toddlers that are allowed to go running around unsupervised.
BM, did you see the commercial on Animal Planet ? About a young toddler , little girl , wandering the streets , narrator says she sometimes comes back with junk etc .... it ends saying :

" you wouldn't let your kids wander like this , why would you let your pets ? "
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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BM, did you see the commercial on Animal Planet ? About a young toddler , little girl , wandering the streets , narrator says she sometimes comes back with junk etc .... it ends saying :

" you wouldn't let your kids wander like this , why would you let your pets ? "
No I didn't see that! But I can't wait to see it...brilliant!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
BM, did you see the commercial on Animal Planet ? About a young toddler , little girl , wandering the streets , narrator says she sometimes comes back with junk etc .... it ends saying :

" you wouldn't let your kids wander like this , why would you let your pets ? "
I know you didn't aim this question at me but .......... I DID! Brilliant!!!!! Should be shown on regular stations as well!!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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I know you didn't aim this question at me but .......... I DID! Brilliant!!!!! Should be shown on regular stations as well!!




It is hey !! First time I saw it , I was like WTH ... nobody would let their kids off like that ...
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I even think I would sue them for pain and suffering. If I would hit a dog because some idiot owners let them roam free outisde, I would be the one with the nightmares I would be the one with those images in my head.
It's pretty hard to prove pain and suffering unless you are physically injured. Most small claim courts won't recognize it at all.
It's too damned bad another "beloved pet" had to die because an owner was not responsible enough to look after him properly.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Dog killed

Family should surely pay for being irresponsible pet owners who through neglect allowed their poor dog to die so painfully and tragically.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolff-jigs View Post
Horrible, and the owners were neglegent and violated the leash laws, however, the driver is also at fault.
In order to get a driver's license, you have to take a written and road test, all of the materials include the warning to "expect the unexpected" along with "keep your eyes on the road" "maintain safe operating speed at all times" "maintain distance between your vehicle and the one in front of your according to conditions of the road and weather, to allow sufficient stopping time"

The latter has been the bane of many who follow too close and then rear-end the driver in front when he/she suddenly stops unexpectedly.
The rear-ender is the one at fault, they failed to maintain distance.

Same if you go through the intersection on a yellow and it turns red while you are in the intersection, you are at fault and guilty because you did not allow enough time to stop, and you were operating at a speed which didn't allow you to stop in time.

So with all of that in mind, the driver is in my opinion 50% responsible
because he did not scan the road well enough to see an animal about to cross it, and he was driving too fast to stop in time. If it was nighttime and the driver couldn't see to stop in time, again the driver was traveling too fast for the time of day/conditions.

If the dog had been a toddler, the driver would have been cited.

Main rule of the road is expect the unexpected and operate your vehicle with that caution in mind.
The dog could have been a toddler, a bull moose, a deer or pedestrian, in each instance the collision probably would not have been avoided because if the driver didn't anticipate or see the dog, chances are he wouldn't have seen a toddler, deer, or a pedestrian either.

The owner is stupid for allowing the dog to roam off their property in the first place, hopefully they learned that lesson, unfortunately it comes at the cost of the dog's life.
Well since there is no indication on weather conditions, visability, nor information on whether the driver was speeding or not, then this is an assumption.

It does not say how this happened or further specifics and therefore due to the lack of information - one cannot assume that the driver is at fault.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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one cannot assume that the driver is at fault.
Exactly ! Accidents do happen ! The point is , no dogs should be on the roads !!

A couple years ago , I hit a skunk. Not because I was driving too fast , not because it was night time or raining , I saw it right after coming out of a curve , tire tracks showed how much I stepped on the brakes , trying to avoid it. I couldn't go on the other lane as another car was coming towards me ! So yes , sometimes there's no way to avoid animals on the roads. Again , dogs should NOT be free to roam.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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Actually you don't need to know what the weather or conditions were, it doesn't matter, legally the DRIVER is bound to safely operate their vehicle and avoid obstacles and obey the basic rules of the road, especially "expect the unexpected and be prepared" it could save your life or someone else's.

Plain and simple, the driver was not operating her vehicle in a way that would allow her to stop for an unexpected event, if it wasn't a dog it could have been a falling tree, a cow wandering across, a deer, a toddler wandering away from the front yard, a boulder that rolled down the hill into the lane, countless things. You as a driver are supposed to LOOK far enough ahead for your speed to be able to avoid collisions and the unexpected.

Not doing so means that when you are driving on the freeway and suddenly there's a ladder in your lane that fell off a truck earlier, if you were paying attention and driving safely, you would see that and take evasive action.
If you are diddling witht he cell phone or radio, or yacking with the inlaws in the back seat and not paying attention, you WILL hit that ladder in the road.

In that case then, was it the ladder's fault for falling off, or yours for not watching the ROAD?
wow , you're living in a dream. So , accidents don't exist ? Never happens ? That's what you're saying ?
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:12 PM
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well i choose to believe that the police that were on scene know more about the situation than someone reading an article on the internet and condemning someone without all the information. You cannot predict every possible scenario that could occurr while you're driving, even at 10kms an hour, if something runs out onto the road right infront of you, you are going to hit it. period plain and simple.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolff-jigs View Post
Actually you don't need to know what the weather or conditions were, it doesn't matter, legally the DRIVER is bound to safely operate their vehicle and avoid obstacles and obey the basic rules of the road, especially "expect the unexpected and be prepared" it could save your life or someone else's.

Plain and simple, the driver was not operating her vehicle in a way that would allow her to stop for an unexpected event, if it wasn't a dog it could have been a falling tree, a cow wandering across, a deer, a toddler wandering away from the front yard, a boulder that rolled down the hill into the lane, countless things. You as a driver are supposed to LOOK far enough ahead for your speed to be able to avoid collisions and the unexpected.

Not doing so means that when you are driving on the freeway and suddenly there's a ladder in your lane that fell off a truck earlier, if you were paying attention and driving safely, you would see that and take evasive action.
If you are diddling witht he cell phone or radio, or yacking with the inlaws in the back seat and not paying attention, you WILL hit that ladder in the road.

In that case then, was it the ladder's fault for falling off, or yours for not watching the ROAD?
I drive for a living and I am here to tell you - operating your vehicle in a safe manner, without talking on your cell phone or chatting with a passenger, ACCIDENTS can still happen. That is why they are called ACCIDENTS.

And if you can't drive safely while talking to a passenger - you shouldn't have a license.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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I drive for a living and I am here to tell you - operating your vehicle in a safe manner, without talking on your cell phone or chatting with a passenger, ACCIDENTS can still happen. That is why they are called ACCIDENTS.

And if you can't drive safely while talking to a passenger - you shouldn't have a license.
In Alberta, they have discontinued using the word accident and now use crash because they are not normally an accident, there normally was a negligent person who is a fault.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 07:01 AM
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well I will now add my useless .
A few years back I crossed a busy intersection and got hit by a car...(damaged my legs pretty good) I also damaged her car Bumper; I guess my Italian hips/butt/legs were just too strong going up against a car...anyway, just glad I didn't get a bill from her to repair her damaged bumper!!!
Accidents will happen, be it with kids, roaming animals, ( including the wild life in Alberta...lets sue the government for not securing the fencing), or adults who should know how to cross a road...accidents will happen.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 08:31 AM
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I know the road this happened on. I don't know exactly where it happened but the speed limit is 60 kph with a few sections where it is 70 kph. The road is narrow, hilly and curving in places and some areas are quite bushy and treed right up to the edge of the road. In places there are signs to warn of hidden driveways and intersections precisely because it is so hard to see ahead of you. It's our favourite drive to my Aunt's nursing home. There are no subdivisions along the road but there are estate lots and some strips of housing.

I can see how it would be easy to hit something on this road if it ran out within your stopping distance, or even beyond, and you had yet to crest a hill or round a curve and were going the speed limit. You might not be able to stop in time. You might not be able to swerve either due to oncoming traffic or the lake or the steep hill.

I do not see people driving at excessive speed on this road as it is a road where you need your wits about you. Wiping out in one spot might put you into a deep tarn lake or over the side of a steep hill. Of course half the drivers are stuck behind me as I'm one of those weirdos who tends to obey the speed limit.

However, I can certainly imagine that drivers returning home from work might speed on a road they probably drive every day and know better than me. The newspaper article says the owner had just returned home from work so one would suppose she would know that. Of course she might not work regular hours.

It was perhaps unfair of me to post this without stating my position but it is: I can't see how the dog owner is not responsible for the damages. Police and witnesses were at the scene and it all seems to have been thouroughly documented. Poor, poor Jake. And his family, they no doubt loved their dog but made a horrible, unthinking, mistaken decision.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolff-jigs View Post
Not doing so means that when you are driving on the freeway and suddenly there's a ladder in your lane that fell off a truck earlier, if you were paying attention and driving safely, you would see that and take evasive action.
If you are diddling witht he cell phone or radio, or yacking with the inlaws in the back seat and not paying attention, you WILL hit that ladder in the road.

In that case then, was it the ladder's fault for falling off, or yours for not watching the ROAD?
Actually, it would be the person who put the ladder on the truck and failed to secure it. If caught then they would be the ones being fined and at fault.

It seems that you have not had the honour of having your first fender bender. Let me tell you, they aren't fun. I like to consider myself a safe driver but the night I ran into the side of a pickup it was pouring rain, I was being blinded by headlights on high beam stopped at a stop sign across from me, and because of those conditions I cut the corner too sharp. I didn't consider it to be 100% my fault but I had to pay costs. It's a fact of life.
It would also seem you have not had to live with the sadness of killing an animal who has darted across the road. I have. It isn't fun. And BTW - yes, a 12 year old dog can dart. I have a 16 year old who still does when she is being goofy. We weren't there. We don't know the sequence of events. It seems the choice has already been made.
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Last edited by 14+kitties; May 27th, 2010 at 10:23 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Fine, forget I even bothered to say anything on this, all anyone does in this thread is tear down my posts and treat me like I just got my license last week, I'm in my mid 50s and Ive been a driver for over 35 years, including a delivery job driving in the city 100 miles on average a day.
I won a 5,000 accident free hours award on that job, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday, nor did I get my license last week.

I've had people run into ME because of their own stupidity and not watching the road.

Last edited by Wolff-jigs; May 27th, 2010 at 10:36 PM.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:39 AM
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It is a sad thing to happen Wolff-Jiggs, but the point is, the dog should not be in a position to wander out onto a road. No dog no matter where it lives should be out roaming free. They need to be in a contained yard for their own safety and the safety of others, period. The person who hit that dog I'm sure had no intention of doing so and I think the dogs owners are extremely lucky to be getting such a small bill for that accident. The driver of the vehicle could have hurt or killed themselves or someone else trying to avoid hitting that dog.

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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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Location: Currently in Kuwait
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sometimes you dont have time to react, sometimes the animals dont even move, i've come accross pigeons, rabbits, and sometimes cats that wont move until your really close.

here people drive reaaally crazy, not like in canada, i mean you'd have to see it for yourself.

sometimes cats jump out on the road while someone is going 120+ KM/H and they dont have enough time to react wether it was their fault or not, accidents happen.

just yesterday i was driving and seen an orange and white adult cat squirming on the ground right next to the curb as if its arm was broken or something, and i didnt notice it till the last second.

also, theres a minimum and maximum speed limit. what if you cant go below a certain speed limit in an aread and an animal pops out? will you be held responsible? i hope not.

the owners were wrong to let the dog out, i mean its like letting a little kid go, they're just gonna wander.

if the driver wasnt paying attention, or failed to stay focused while driving, then they should each pay half.

but since the bumper was damaged and the dog died it indicates the driver was going fast.

if this was around their house, doesnt that mean they were in a neighbourhood? isnt there a speelimit in a neighbourhood? there is here, its 40KM/H. i doubt you could kill a dog going at 40 unless you ran over it.

i dont know, just speculating.
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