What to Do if You Hit a Dog With Your Car

It is very upsetting to hit a dog with your car. This dog is not just a random animal but someone’s pet that is now injured, or worst, killed because of a car accident. In this situation, you must answer pressing questions: how to care for the dog you hit, who pays for the injuries, will insurance pay for repairs to your car, and what are your legal responsibilities? Learn the answers below and do not be overwhelmed. There is a process and understanding it will help you.

Taking immediate care of the dog

Wounded animals can be unpredictable and aggressive because they are stressed and scared. To avoid further damage to you and the animal, do not move the dog. If you are on a busy road and terribly need to move the dog to a safer spot, placing a blanket or a jacket over the injured animal can offer some protection for you, enough to at least move the dog off of the road.

Call the police or animal control and wait for them to arrive. This is not sentiment – you can end up in serious legal trouble if you abandon the dog you just hit. If there is a number on the collar, call the owner, too. Explain what happened and provide your location.

Who pays for the dog’s veterinary bills?

When you hit a dog with your car, the veterinary bills can pile up fast. The dog’s owner is usually the one responsible for deciding on the course of treatment and for covering all the expenses. However, if the owner is not there, the person who brings the pet to the vet decides and pays. This is why it is so much better to properly hand off the care of the dog to the police or animal control.

Repairing your vehicle

If you were not driving carelessly, you probably will not face charges or be forced to pay the dog’s vet bills. For any repairs on your car, physical damage repairs after hitting an animal are covered by comprehensive car insurance coverage.

In the case of hitting a dog, the insurance company may go after the dog’s owner. If you cannot locate the owner, you must have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle for your car insurance to cover the damage. If you hit your own dog with your car though, this can result in a collision claim. Your insurance firm will decide on how to process this claim.

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MJ Usner