Wedding Woes

WTF? This was a freak accident.

Dear Prudence,

Recently, my husband and I (she/her) were in our front yard with our two young children. We had our front door open with our small, friendly dog inside the house (he barks frantically if we close the door on him.) A neighbor rode by on a bike, with his big dog running next to him. Something about this set off our dog and he raced out barking. The neighbor saw him coming and braked hard, at the same time his dog pulled toward our dog, which resulted in him flipping over his bike onto the concrete. The bike landed on his dog as well. The closest our dog got was about 10 feet, and then he turned around, scared, and ran back inside the house. Obviously, we feel terribly about the situation, and will no longer be leaving the door open—but are we liable for the injuries our neighbor got? He wants us to pay for him and his dog’s medical bills. It is worth noting that he and the dog walked away apparently unscathed besides his knee and hand being scraped.

—Who Let the Dog Out?

Re: WTF? This was a freak accident.

  • Oh no this is not on you to pay for
  • Nope.  He was out on a bike with his dog next to him??   Sorry you need to put yourself in a position where when you're with your pet you have the ability to control them/you.  Adding wheels to the mix and not assuming fault is poor judgement. 
  • You should have kept your dog inside, but they also could (and should have) continued to ride along. Biking with dogs is risky to both the rider and the dog and that was on the neighbor to decide if they were comfortable with the risk. 

    Apologize for your dog scarring them and keep your dog contained in the future, but no you’re not liable to pay for his medical bills even if this was your fault. 
  • This reads like a first year law school exam. So the answer is always maybe. 
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