Advice on accident involving a dog

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
pompeyreece
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Joined: 8 Sep 2014, 11:35am

Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby pompeyreece » 8 Sep 2014, 8:04pm

Hi all,

I was involved in an accident with a dog at the weekend, thankfully I'm (relatively) OK with loads of bruising but my bike (Giant Defy Advanced 0) and helmet came off a lot worse.

Basically I was about to start a downhill with a left turn at the very top. As I turned in (doing around 15-18mph) a dog ran out from a garden gate which the owner had left open, in to my path, which I then collided with before falling off to my right, scraping my right hand side down the road, head whip lashed on to the floor (without a helmet I reckon I'd be dead) before landing in a heap.

There were no witnesses, the owner came out and admitted she'd accidentally must've left the gate open (she had popped next door to feed the next door neighbour's cat) which is how the dog escaped. The dog was not on a lead.

So my question is does anyone have experience of a similar situation, whether I can claim damages to my bike off the owner and if so, what's the best way to proceed?

Thanks in advance

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gaz
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Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby gaz » 8 Sep 2014, 8:38pm

Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear of the incident.

You'll find some general advice on all accidents here. The best way to proceed is with proper legal advice. If you are a CTC member contact the accident help line.

If not see if you have any free legal advice through household insurance, union membership, etc. Personal injury solicitors may also be able to help.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

pompeyreece
Posts: 8
Joined: 8 Sep 2014, 11:35am

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby pompeyreece » 8 Sep 2014, 9:12pm

Cheers Gaz. I've been a member for over 2 years, never had an accident until the weekend though hence the amazingly high (not) post count.

Appreciate your advice and anyone else who has experience of a similar situation.

Thanks again.

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661-Pete
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Location: Sussex

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby 661-Pete » 8 Sep 2014, 9:18pm

You might as well be aware of the relevant section of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (for England and Wales):
3 Keeping dogs under proper control.
(1)If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place—
(a)the owner; and
(b)if different, the person for the time being in charge of the dog,
is guilty of an offence, or, if the dog while so out of control injures any person, an aggravated offence, under this subsection.
A dog which runs out into the street endangering a road user is 'dangerously out of control': no argument. It doesn't have to be a pitbull: the breed is irrelevant in this case.
Having said that, it might be a bit harsh to press charges against an owner who evidently made a genuine mistake. But keep it in mind.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

pompeyreece
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Joined: 8 Sep 2014, 11:35am

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby pompeyreece » 8 Sep 2014, 9:23pm

661-Pete wrote:You might as well be aware of the relevant section of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (for England and Wales):
3 Keeping dogs under proper control.
(1)If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place—
(a)the owner; and
(b)if different, the person for the time being in charge of the dog,
is guilty of an offence, or, if the dog while so out of control injures any person, an aggravated offence, under this subsection.
A dog which runs out into the street endangering a road user is 'dangerously out of control': no argument. It doesn't have to be a pitbull: the breed is irrelevant in this case.
Having said that, it might be a bit harsh to press charges against an owner who evidently made a genuine mistake. But keep it in mind.


Thanks. I wouldn't want to press charges, was a genuine mistake but if the bike shop says the bike is a right off, then that's a £3.5k bike ruined and I'd want to investigate if it's possible to claim it back from the perpetrator.

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661-Pete
Posts: 9953
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby 661-Pete » 8 Sep 2014, 10:46pm

pompeyreece wrote: I wouldn't want to press charges, was a genuine mistake but if the bike shop says the bike is a right off, then that's a £3.5k bike ruined and I'd want to investigate if it's possible to claim it back from the perpetrator.

Or, perhaps, from their house insurance (would that cover this kind of thing)? Hopefully the CTC will advise. Whatever the route, good luck with your claim.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

SteveHunter
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Joined: 24 Aug 2014, 10:02pm

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby SteveHunter » 8 Sep 2014, 11:54pm

If they have decent pet insurance the owner should be able to claim against that. My dogs insurance would cover for such an accident.

irc
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Location: glasgow

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby irc » 9 Sep 2014, 3:02am

661-Pete wrote:You might as well be aware of the relevant section of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (for England and Wales):
3 Keeping dogs under proper control.
(1)If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place—
(a)the owner; and
(b)if different, the person for the time being in charge of the dog,
is guilty of an offence, or, if the dog while so out of control injures any person, an aggravated offence, under this subsection.
A dog which runs out into the street endangering a road user is 'dangerously out of control': no argument.


I'd argue. The act was intended to deal with dogs biting people not stray dogs causing accidents. Show me one example where anyone has been convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act for a stray dog causing an accident.

Bicycler
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Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby Bicycler » 9 Sep 2014, 3:55am

In any case the OP would like compensating for his losses and that is a civil matter

broadway
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Location: Cheshire

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby broadway » 9 Sep 2014, 8:57am

irc wrote:
661-Pete wrote:You might as well be aware of the relevant section of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (for England and Wales):
3 Keeping dogs under proper control.
(1)If a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place—
(a)the owner; and
(b)if different, the person for the time being in charge of the dog,
is guilty of an offence, or, if the dog while so out of control injures any person, an aggravated offence, under this subsection.
A dog which runs out into the street endangering a road user is 'dangerously out of control': no argument.


I'd argue. The act was intended to deal with dogs biting people not stray dogs causing accidents. Show me one example where anyone has been convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act for a stray dog causing an accident.


1. Overview
It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, eg:

in a public place
in a private place (eg a neighbour’s house or garden)
in the owner’s home
The law applies to all dogs. (my bold)

https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/overview

Some types of dogs are banned.

Out of control
Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

injures someone
makes someone worried that it might injure them
A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:

it injures someone’s animal
the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

However the owner may be covered by home insurance.

karlt
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Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby karlt » 9 Sep 2014, 10:00am

There's a lot of confusing civil and criminal law here. All this quoting of the law is about criminal offences. That's nothing to do with pursuing a legal claim for damages, which is a civil matter, and depends upon proving negligence. Not hard; the gate was left open. Open and shut case; claim against the owner's liability insurance (usually part of their home contents). The dog owner will have to inform her insurers; if she doesn't, you will have to get solicitors to initiate proceedings. None of this has anything to do with criminal offences under the dangerous dogs act, or indeed any other criminal legislation.

The owner may be guilty of a criminal offence as well, but that has little or no bearing on your civil case.

Psamathe
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby Psamathe » 9 Sep 2014, 10:08am

I agree it is a civil issue. I agree that OP may also have broken the law (but not in a serious manner).

And it is not necessarily the home owner who is always at fault (I don't know enough details in this case). I have two active complaints, one against a meter reading company and another against a courier company who opened my gate to enter my property and then left a few moments later leaving the gate open. And had I not noticed, my dog would have been roaming the streets. When people visit your property things are not always under the control of the homeowner (and I do have a specific 3rd party insurance policy for my dog, just in case).

Ian

karlt
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Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby karlt » 9 Sep 2014, 10:41am

In this case, the owner has admitted they left the gate open when they went to feed next door's cat.

kwackers
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Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby kwackers » 9 Sep 2014, 10:42am

karlt wrote:In this case, the owner has admitted they left the gate open when they went to feed next door's cat.

To the dog? :lol:

iviehoff
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Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Advice on accident involving a dog

Postby iviehoff » 9 Sep 2014, 11:35am

661-Pete wrote:Having said that, it might be a bit harsh to press charges against an owner who evidently made a genuine mistake.

The old argument. Car driver kills cyclist, but it was a genuine mistake: it might be a bit harsh to press charges against a driver who made a genuine mistake. Nuclear power station melts down, but it was a genuine mistake: it might be a bit harsh to make the operators responsible for a genuine mistake.

People have to be made responsible for their genuine mistakes, it is the only way we make people realise that they have to take steps to prevent mistakes that damage others.