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  1. #1
    Standley Guest

    Question

    daughter was at the front door. i was asleep. according to daughter catfight began outside. dog bolted through screen door chasing cats. daughter called dog back. car hits dog as dog runs home across street. car owner sues me in california small claims court for $900+ for "damages dog did to car." courtdate is 01/23/01, i accept all advice and suggestions upto and including.....

    dogsdad
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by Standley
    daughter was at the front door. i was asleep. according to daughter catfight began outside. dog bolted through screen door chasing cats. daughter called dog back. car hits dog as dog runs home across street. car owner sues me in california small claims court for $900+ for "damages dog did to car." courtdate is 01/23/01, i accept all advice and suggestions upto and including.....

    dogsdad
    My response:

    You owe the money. Apparently, your dog was not sufficiently restrained. Although you had it behind a screen door, when dogs do their "natural thing", they become powerhouses.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    Standley Guest
    Originally posted by Standley
    daughter was at the front door. i was asleep. according to daughter catfight began outside. dog bolted through screen door chasing cats. daughter called dog back. car hits dog as dog runs home across street. car owner sues me in california small claims court for $900+ for "damages dog did to car." courtdate is 01/23/01, i accept all advice and suggestions upto and including.....


    dogsdad

    guess it's time to get in the car and go dog huntin'. sounds like there's money to be made out there at the expense of my auto's bodywork. thanks for the insight.

    dogsdad
  4. #4
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    One thing that you might want to consider in determining damages.... You are only responsible for the damages that the car owner INCURRED. This means the uninsured portion (or deductible).

    If the car had $900 damage (must have been a BIG dog, or a SMALL car!!), and the owner has $250 deductible, you would probably only be responsible for the deductible, not the full $900.

    Just a thought (that would apply in Texas... don't know about California).
  5. #5
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    My response:

    Steve, in California, he's responsible for the entire amount of the damages, regardless of whether or not the driver had insurance. The "Collateral Source Rule" would stop our writer from using the fact of insurance as a defense to all, or a portion, of the damages. All because the driver was "prudent" enough to have insurance, doesn't allow our writer to rest upon that fact, or to take advantage of that fact.

    Therefore, if the car owner's insurance company paid for the damages, minus a collision deductible, then our writer would be responsible for the driver's deductible, and to also reimburse the driver's insurance company. I would imagine that our writer's homeowner's insurance would take care of this matter from the "get go", or reimburse the driver and the driver's insurance company.

    IAAL
  6. #6
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you IAAL.

    Here we are allowed to consider the insurance coverage in the claim.

    Main thing...
    If the car owner turns this claim in on HIS insurance, surely they would contact the homeowner for verification (unless the car owner claims an 'unknown' owner). If I were Standley, I would insist that the car owners insurance company at least be brought into the picture to minimize 'double dipping' (compensation from Standley AND the insurance company).

    Also, your suggestion that Standleys homeowner insurance might cover him is a good idea (in Texas, this would also be subject to the homeowners deductible).

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