Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - Louisa Silker
Hi all
Newbie here.
Today, a dog ran across a high street and cars obviously broke hard, I went into the back of a lady as a result. I skidded and tried to avoid her but clipped her rear drivers side with my front passenger side. She was the shunted into another lady. The dog was not hit and ran on without a care in the world. Seconds afterwards the local police arrived and told us they were looking for said dog, It had escaped from a nearby housing estate and they were chasing it round town.
We got an incident number and they say they'd recorded that the dog caused the crash.
As I was the back car, I am to blame for the damage on the cars in front? Correct? Can I pursue the dog owner for damages to our car or are they responsible for everyone's damage?

The car is my husbands company car, I was driving and am fully insured on this car via his work insurance. They are dealing with the situation but I thought I'd get some advice in the meantime.

Now the occupants of the car I hit have taken themselves off to the local hospital. I can only presume a whiplash claim will follow. We had only just pulled away from traffic lights and I reckon I'd got into 3rd gear, about 20mph or so. Not that it matters, insurance will sort that out.

Final question, I have my own car insurance, do I tell them too? or does that only matter when I know it's been given as my fault or not?

Never had an incident so not entirely sure what happens
Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - Engineer Andy

If the Police find out who the dog's owner is, and you find out/keep in touch with all the other vehciles' drivers/owners involved in the accident, then I'm sure, given it sounds like the Police knew what dog it was that caused this, then you all could sue the owners for negligence. Not sure what would happen if they don't find out who the dog owner was, possibly a no-fault claim for everyone? Given your car was the one at the back, you're more likely to be classed 'at fault' if 'somebody' (other than the dog/its owner) is technically to blame for insurance purposes.

Really bad luck on your part. Just tell the truth to the insurers, and hopefully if all other parties involved do so as well, them the £££ damaged will be minimised. Might be worth putting an ad in or write to the local paper to see if any witnesses would come forward to assist you (if the Police aren't much help) - you never know.

My Dad experienced a similar incident a few years ago, but was lucky (to a degree) that the crash only affected his car and no-one else's. He still had to fork out the excess for the damage and extra premium the following year, as the dog just ran off and couldn't be found.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - RobJP

In law, you are responsible for the accident - entirely. No matter what the police might have said at the time.

Car A stopped. Car B left enough gap and managed to stop. Car C (yourself) was driving too close/too fast/inattentively/whatever, and failed to stop.

You had not left enough of a gap, and failed to stop. The car you hit will make a claim against the insurer for the vehicle you were driving, and the car that THEY hit will claim against the car that you hit - which will then be 'shunted' back up the line to your insurer.

The dog is irrelevant in law. If it was a child that had stepped out into the road, the situation would be identical.

You do need to inform your (personal) insurance company too.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - TedCrilly

If you went after the dogs owners I would assume at some stage you would have to defend yourself by proving the dog was entirely responsible for causing you to react in the way you did. You would also have to explain why at the time you were not travelling at a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Can you do this?

I think it best if you leave it to the insurance company. If they think there is liability there and any possibility of recovering costs from the owners they will persue it.......although something tells me they won't be bothering.

I doubt the police will say the dog caused it, although they may say it contributed. What caused it was you traveling too close to the car in front.

Edited by TedCrilly on 13/02/2017 at 19:41

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - scot22

Completely agree with two most recent posts. If there had been sufficient stopping distance there would have been no collision.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - SLO76
Sorry Louisa but it doesn't matter why the car infront stopped, you should have been far enough behind to be able to respond to an emergency stop like this. There will be no doubt in the insurance firms assessment that you were to blame I'm afraid, even if you did somehow manage to get the dog owners details it would be irrelevant. Only option here is to accept the blame and likely cost then modify your driving accordingly to avoid any repeat.
Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - gordonbennet

I suppose if the dog is found, and it can be proved to be the cause of the accident, and its insured properly, then maybe a claim could be successful.

But how do you prove it was dog A and not a similar looking dog B from round the corner.

Unfortunately i too agree with the others, the other cars stopped you didn't for whatever reason.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - concrete

I agree with RobJP. Despite the circumstances there should always be enough room to stop safely behind the vehicle in front. It is an old maxim in these cases that the rear car is to blame. I seem also to recall that there are some legal precedents regarding animals, which I believe do not work in your favour, but worth checking out. Your existing insurer should be informed because it is a material change regarding their risk, so expect a fee to be levied immediately. Real shame about your crash but you are now wiser but poorer. I rear ended a car myself about 40 years ago at a junction, never done it since though, once bitten.....

Best of luck. Concrete

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - Engineer Andy

To be honest I thought (when I first read the OP) it was that the OP had taken avoiding action to not run over the dog and hit another car, etc etc. Maybe that wasn't what happened. If it was a shunt from behind, rather than due to having to swerve into a different lane, then the stopping distance is the fault-determining factor (as others have said), unfortunately.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - Avant

The impression I get is that the order is as Rob suggests.

Louisa, driving Car C, is either too close to Car B or doesn't react quickly enough: hits car B and shunts it into Car A.

Sorry Louisa, but our sympathies have to be with the drivers of Cars A and B who pulled up in time and didn't deserve to be hit.

Edited by Avant on 15/02/2017 at 23:31

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - Dwight Van Driver

Missed this when first posted......

To RobJP and others who automatically come to the conclusion a rear shunt is blameworthy, I draw attention to the dictum of the decision Scott v Warren 1974 :-

In Scott v Warren the defendant driving in a line of moving traffic was unable to avoid hitting the van in front which had made an emergency stop to avoid hitting a piece of metal, which had fallen off a lorry in front of the van. The Magistrates dismissed the case, and it was suggested on the hearing of the case stated before the High Court, that if a driver did not leave sufficient space between himself and the vehicle in front to avoid a collision, then the defendant was guilty of careless driving as he would be in breach of the Highway Code. The Divisional Court disagreed, holding that whether a person had driven carelessly is primarily a matter of fact: the duty of a driver following another vehicle was, as far as reasonably possible, to take up such a position and to drive in such a fashion, as to be able to deal with all traffic exigencies REASONABLY expected.

It is automatically assumed by many that in rear end shunts the shunter is guilty of careless driving . Not so if the one in front takes some unindicated and unpredicable action that leads to an accident then that is not careless driving by the back marker.



Edited by Avant on 17/02/2017 at 00:46

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - RobJP

However, DVD, the front driver managed to stop. The (second) driver following THEM managed to stop. The THIRD person in the line (the OP), however failed to stop, striking the car in front (the second driver), who then, as a direct result struck the front driver.

If Driver No.1 could stop and not hit the dog, and No.2 could REASONABLY manage to stop, then it is REASONABLE to expect driver No.3 to be able to stop too.

The fact that they failed to do so when other drivers did manage to stop safely indicates that they were driving too fast, driving too close, were inattentive, were driving a faulty vehicle, or some combination of the above.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - Avant

I wonder, DVD, if Scott v Warren is more an exception than the norm. I tiotally agree with you - the law is there to uphold that which is reasonable: in this case the evidence seems to have been that the defendant could not reasonably have avoided the collision.

In Louisa's case, as Rob says, Cars A and B managed to avoid hitting anything. I think she may struggle to prove that she (in Car C) couldn't have avoided hitting and shuntiing Car B.

If you do have that evidence, Louisa, you should take legal advice and I wish you the best of luck.

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - gordonbennet

I didn't think legal blame as in whether the CPS could sucessfully prosecute was in question here, its a long time since the old bill chucked driving without due care at drivers who drove without due care, and the results can be seen all day every day, yet another change for the worse.

The question appeared to be about who's going to get the blame insurance-wise, in that case as above the other two cars stopped, the third car was either travelling too close or distracted or simply their reactions or their brakes weren't as good as those of the first two cars.

None of which matters because IMHO the driver of last car in the line, the one which didn't stop, well a pound to a penny their insurance is going to be stumping up, because the chances of proving the dog in question dunnit M'lud are nil.

Has the OP reappeared or is this yet another thread we're discussing never to get an update on.

Edited by gordonbennet on 17/02/2017 at 08:00

Dog caused RTC today - advice needed please - ExA35Owner

The old TV ad "only a fool breaks the two second rule" - but that isn't sufficient if the driver isn't paying attention. Whether the OP was adjusting the heater, tuning the radio, distracted by something by the side of the road, or whatever else it might be, even if she was over two seconds behing the other car there could have been a collision. Lesson for all of us, particularly when we are driving on routes we know very well and which therefore breed complacency.


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