Have you sustained injuries as the result of hitting or trying to avoid hitting a dog while you were driving your motorcycle? Are you now facing steep medical bills and/or lost wages and wondering if you're entitled to compensation for your injuries by the dog's owner? If the following 4 points hold true, you likely are entitled to compensation, and you should speak with a motorcycle accident attorney right away.
You Were Following All Applicable Laws
The rules of the road are in place to protect you and other motorists, and if you don't follow those rules, you become a liability to yourself and others. If you were speeding, had just run a red light, were driving erratically, or were not wearing a helmet in a state where helmets are required by law, then proving that the dog's owner was responsible for your injuries may be very difficult.
It should be noted, though, that in some states you can be deemed partially liable for your accident. This means that even if you were breaking a law at the time of your accident, the courts may find you partially liable and the dog owner partially liable for your injuries. In this case, a jury would determine what percentage of fault the dog owner had in the accident, and you would be awarded that percentage of your damages.
Your Helmet Was Functioning Properly
If there was a mechanical defect with your helmet at the time of your accident, or if your helmet was misrepresented as passing all motorcycle helmet safety standards by its manufacturer, then fault sometimes lies with the helmet manufacturer rather than with the owner of the dog that caused your collision. The reason is that there is a chance you may not have sustained any injuries in your collision if your helmet stayed in tact and was functioning properly. It should be noted that this only applies to injuries, such as head and spinal cord injuries, that the helmet is meant to protect you.
The Dog Owner Was Acting With Negligence
If the dog that caused your accident was tied on a long leash and being led by its owner at the time of our collision, but you simply didn't see it before it was too late, then the owner wasn't really acting negligently. They had their dog properly restrained and in most cases wouldn't be responsible for your damages.
If the dog was loose and running free without any supervision at the time of your motorcycle collision, however, then its owner failed to properly restrain it and there is a good chance they will be found liable for your damages.
The Dog Was Not A Police Dog
In some cities, police dogs are exempt from leash laws while in training and while on duty. If your city police were using a dog in an attempt to track down an expected criminal and that dog ran in front of your motorcycle and caused your accident, then you may not be able to seek compensation for your injuries from the police department. In this case, you'll need to rely on your motor vehicle liability insurance to pay for your damages.
If you sustained injuries while riding your motorcycle because a dog ran out in front of you and you either hit it or swerved to avoid hitting it, then there is a good chance that you can file a lawsuit against the dog's owner and receive compensation for your damages. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney, like Scherline And Associates, in your area today to discuss the intricacies of your case.