Dog hit and run

Asked about 3 years ago - Edmond, OK

My husband hit a dog w/ his car. He "freaked out." The kids were in the car. He said 2 other cars stopped. He called a friend (who lived down the street) to check on the animal. The friend said noone was there, no dog etc. My husband can't sleep and is shaken up. We are both pet lovers. I can't imagine what I would do If someone hit my dogs and left. We want to call local vets to find out if the dog is ok & offer to help w/ vet bills. My husband fears that he could be found liable for "leaving the scene of an accident" or sued for damages? His car did sustain damage so I would assume this certainly caused the dog damage as well. What is my husband's responsibility in this accident? We want to do the right thing.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Donald Curtis Kudler

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . I am licensed in Nevada, but this answer should apply in Oklahoma as well.

    As an animal lover (and current owner if "Thurman the dog" who was one of three not too long ago) I feel for you and your children. Your husband is only legally liable if he did something wrong while driving such as not paying attention to the road or driving too fast. That is, of course, different than the admirable moral responsibility he feels for injuring someone else' companion and family member.

    I see from an article in Tulsa Pets Magazine at http://www.tulsapetsmagazine.com/2009/04/veteri... that pets in Oklahoma have the same status as here in Nevada - they are considered "mere property" as such IF your husband is legally at fault for the accident, he is legally at fault for damages to the pet as an item of property. Those damages would be the cost of the vet bills caused by the accident and/or the replacement costs of the pet. The other family cannot collect for the emotional damages caused by injury to their pet any more than the could if your husband hit a chair in the road. I don't equate the two, but the law does. I would rather have our pets recognized for what they are - members of our families.veryone.

    Your insurance should cover damages to the pet since it is considered property. My guess is that your true concern for another family's pet will go a long way to healing e

    Hope this helps.

    /s Donald Kudler
    http://www.capandkudler.com

    This answer does not create an attorney client relationship and does not constitute legal advice, but is solely... more
  2. Donald Curtis Kudler

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . I'm sorry the last part got messed up. It should read:

    I would rather have our pets recognized for what they are - members of our families.

    Your insurance should cover damages to the pet since it is considered property. My guess is that your true concern for another family's pet will go a long way to healing everyone.

    Hope this helps.

    /s Donald Kudler
    http://www.capandkudler.com

    This answer does not create an attorney client relationship and does not constitute legal advice, but is solely... more
  3. Laura Mcfarland-Taylor

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . What would happen to your husband depends on a lot of facts and information we don't have. I do think it's important that your husband show your kids that you should always do the right thing no matter the consequences, meaning your husband needs to make this right.

    If we do not have a signed fee agreement I am not your attorney and this is not legal advice.

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