How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 15718
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

A friend took my dog out with her's for walk with another

Customer Question

A friend took my dog out with her's for walk with another friend. They were both people & dogs we walked with regularly. During the walk one of my friends was knocked over by the dogs playing. I was told at the time that it was not known/seen which dog was responsible. She has had operations & will need ongoing care to return home. Her son phoned me yesterday & said it was my dog that was responsible & asked if my dog was insured (he wasn't)He said he knew it was just an accident but wanted to claim. Where do I stand legally?
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Wiltshire, uk
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None. I just received the call yesterday. The accident was beginning of July
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No. Is there a charge for this?
Assistant: The Expert's answer will cost $10 to $100, depending on the issue type and time to respond. You'll see the exact amount on the next page and can decide then. It's way less expensive and more convenient than any face-to-face visit.
Customer: Ok
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

exactly what were her injuries?

and they have said they dont know which dog it was - is this correct?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She broke her leg. Has had operations & a metal plate & 8 pins in her leg. At the time the friend who had taken my dog with her & her much larger dog, said they were walking one behind the other & all 3 dogs were off lead playing. She heard an impact & turnef around to see Ruth, the injured friend in the air. She landed with her leg at a strange angle & an ambulance had to be called. Jo (friend with my dog) told me on several occasions that she didn't see which dog was responsible as they were all running together. Ruth's son yesterday said she had unequivocally seen my dog run straight at her. Thing is that Jo has been looking after Ruth's dog for the entire time she's been in hospital so I feel that it's easier to blame my dog. He's a lot smaller & I'm not sure he would have enough force to knock someone into the air like that (17kg)
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 months ago.

The only 3 persons who know that it was your dog would be the injured woman and the other person and only then, if they saw it. I’m not certain how many people with there but the more who didn’t see it, the better

I cannot see how this son can possibly know what happened unless his mother has told him.

If the dog is not insured and you are not insured, then there is a potential claim against the person with the dog in negligence.

Moral of the tale: never do anything for anyone else unless you are insured or they are insured!

It will help if I explain how claims in negligence arise.

There needs to be

1. a duty of care

2. the duty of care needs to be breached

3. as a result of the breach there needs to be loss or injury

4. the loss or injury must be as a result of the breach

5. the loss or injury resulting from the breach must be reasonably foreseeable.

In order for there to be a claim in negligence, all 5 heads have to be satisfied.

If the dog was just generally running around, there is an argument which says that the person walking the dog was not in control of it. If however it was on the field and not on a lead and was just running around, then it’s possible that the person who fell over was not paying attention walking over dogs.

There is a claim here to be brought against whoever is responsible but the first argument is who was responsible because if this woman says it was your dog but there there is another person who said they were not sure which dog it was, then it’s more likely that her claim would fail.

There is no such thing as an accident any more. They are just called incidents. It happens because someone has been negligent. The thing speaks for itself because if no one had been negligent, no one would have fallen over and no one would have been injured.

The potential problem for the claimant is proving who had been negligent and even if it was established that it was your dog, then it is perfectly possible that there could be a claim for contributory negligence because this person shouldn’t have been doing what they did knowing that dogs were running around.

Are you liable here? Well in my opinion, you weren’t there, you had no duty of care in the circumstances and therefore you are out of the equation. The fact that it was your dog is neither here therefore is

I know you may not want to hear this but if there is a claim, it is is against your friend who was walking the dog who should have had control of it. Somewhat unfair, but that’s the situation.

Being quite honest with you, this is not a case that I would readily take on for the claimant with any hope of success but that doesn’t mean that an ambulance chasing solicitor will not jump on it and try to intimate a claim even though ultimately they would not go to court.

The size of the dog may be very relevant.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right-hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen.

You may need to login again to use the rating service. Although it says "rate to finish" it doesn't close the thread and we can still exchange emails.

It's important that you use the rating service because that gives me credit.

It doesn't just give me a pat on the head! It's what gets me paid!!

There is also an experts incentive scheme whereby the more 5 star ratings I get I do actually get a pat on the head!

All you need to do is press Submit.

Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.