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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:02 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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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:56 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, 10:00 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, 10:03 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, 10:13 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, 10:15 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, 10:16 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, 10:37 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, 11:13 AM
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If you watch the judge shows (I do ) they have had quite a few cases pertaining to this. If the judge finds the owner liable then the owner has to pay. As sad as it is.
I've seen the opposite where the owner of the dog has sued the driver for vet bills. If the judge finds the dog was under "reasonable control" then normally they end up paying 50/50. If they can prove the driver was speeding then it may go 100% in favour of the pet owner.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
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, 11:24 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, 12:00 PM
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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.
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, 12:16 PM
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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, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
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, 12:28 PM
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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 ? "
No I didn't see that! But I can't wait to see it...brilliant!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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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.
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, 12:32 PM
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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, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
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, 01:38 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, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
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, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolff-jigs View Post
Main rule of the road is expect the unexpected and operate your vehicle with that caution in mind.

Tell that to the thousands of people involved in accidents with deer, moose, and other small animals over the course of a year.

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.

If the dog had have been a toddler I doubt it would have been allowed outside by itself. Or I hope that would not be the case. Although some children I know/have known should be on leashes. Had it been a bull moose or a deer it would be a moot point as there is no "owner" to sue. Had it been a pedestrian - assuming the pedestrian were old enough to be of a clear thinking age and to know enough not to be on the road - well, pedestrian should know enough to look both ways.

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.
That I certainly agree with. Which is why the owner is being sued I imagine.

Judge Judy makes a comment all the time. If it wasn't an accident it would have been an "on purpose". Not many people I know hit dogs on purpose. Cats - yes. But that's a story for another day.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
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 she did not scan the road well enough to see an animal about to cross it, and she 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.

Guess you have never heard of animals darting across the road...werea's sadly the driver as no time to stop or even slam on their brakes. It happens ALL the time. I agree with everyone else on here, it is the dog owners fault, for letting their dog roam freely. How could this be the drivers fault??
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Old May 27th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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not to mention 14+ if it was a moose, the car would be a write off and probably no driver alive too sue anyone. I was actually years ago in one of the cleaning companies cars and a pedestrian darted out from between two cars and our driver did hit her...wanna guess who was charged...yup THE PEDESTRIAN. yes drivers as i stated have to take tests and pay to use the road, and until i see a pedestrian with a licence plate on their a..,,,,the car has the right of way on the road. I think the dogs owner should be charged also with neglect.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:02 PM
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Would also like to add, a few years back a friend who is a Animal Control Officer in the states, was out during a call at around 11pm at night. He was driving and hit a dog. Transported dog to the after hours vet that they work with. The owners took him to court, trying to sue him and wanted him to pay the vet bills. In the end, the judge ruled in his favor and scolded the owners for letting their dog run at large.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 05:31 PM
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As sad as this is i agree with everyone here. It's up to owners to keep their pets away from moving cars. Period. I'm glad nearly all the responses here suggest the same.

In Montreal I also see dogs off leash all the time, every single day. These too are accidents just waiting to happen. I for one would be perfectly happy with a 500 dollar fine for any dog owner walking their dog off-leash. It will protect our beloved pets from these and other tragedies.

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  #26  
Old May 27th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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If I ever hit an animal on the road,I would be an emotional wreck
People who let their animals roam on the road,deserve to pay for any damages to the car,but no money in the world would make up for how I would feel.
As drivers,we have to always look on the sides of the road,especially in rural areas,but if an animal is dashing out,not much you can do.
I just hope it never happens to me.
It's too bad that their"beloved familymember",had to pay for their negligence with his life. poor doggie
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Old May 27th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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If I ever hit an animal on the road,I would be an emotional wreck
People who let their animals roam on the road,deserve to pay for any damages to the car,but no money in the world would make up for how I would feel.
As drivers,we have to always look on the sides of the road,especially in rural areas,but if an animal is dashing out,not much you can do.
I just hope it never happens to me.
It's too bad that their"beloved familymember",had to pay for their negligence with his life. poor doggie
My sentiments too, well said, chico
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Old May 27th, 2010, 07:04 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, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
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"

Agree, I ride my bike 30 km on a highway and drivers drive much too fast to be able to stop in an emergency

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.

So with all of that in mind, the driver is in my opinion 50% responsible
because she did not scan the road well enough to see an animal about to cross it, and she was driving too fast to stop in time.

Not sure if you drive regularly on highways, but I do, and there can be grass long enough to hide animals and you can't see them until they run out. If they run out immediately in front of your moving car, you don't necessarily have time to stop, simple physics
If the dog had been a toddler, the driver would have been cited.

Only if the driver did have time to stop, if a child runs out and there is no physical time to stop and the driver was not speeding then it would be doubtful for charges to be laid.

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.
Cyclists are getting hit by cars, six by one car just last week in Montreal area, three died, haven't heard if the driver is being charged yet . Of course if you are a politician, you get all charges dropped . As a cyclist, I swear that drivers just blatantly don't care or they truly do not pay attention to the road.


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.
Wish all drivers drove like you, there would be a lot less deaths.
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  #30  
Old May 27th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Quebec
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Quote:
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?
wow , you're living in a dream. So , accidents don't exist ? Never happens ? That's what you're saying ?
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