Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Aug 11, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • If you hit a dog, the first thing to do is to find a way to move the animal off of the road if it’s still alive
  • Since dogs are classified as property, your liability coverage won’t pay for any medical treatment
  • If you don’t know who owns the dog and you take it to the vet, you could be held responsible for paying the bills
  • A pet owner may sue for vet bills under certain circumstances, but damages are limited
  • If your car is damaged and you have full coverage, your comprehensive coverage will kick in to pay for car repairs

You face obstacles on the road every day. Whether you’re commuting to work on a rainy day or you’re battling a reckless driver, getting out of the way for obstacles is something that comes with the territory when you’re a licensed driver.

Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with an animal, you can never predict how they’ll react when they have free reign to run on the road. This applies whether you’re talking about a deer or neighborhood dog or cat.

In most states, dog owners are expected to have their animals under control at all times. Dogs should be in the house, in a fenced area, or on a leash. If they are not, the owner may face some degree of liability should they bite someone or cause other damage.

If a dog gets loose and runs into the street, maneuvering your car out of the way can be difficult. If you’re unable to get out of the way and you hit a dog, let’s discuss your responsibilities.

If you also want to make sure you are fully insured, start comparing at least three to four policies to find the best auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code above!

What Should You Do after You Hit A Dog?

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