Cycling spots like parks, beaches, and small communities are popular with dog owners. But what happens when a dog darts into the way of an oncoming bike? Usually, the cyclist swerves and the dog manages to get away unscathed. But for the cyclist, it's a recipe for disaster. Crashes occur this way all the time, and injuries are common. If you have been hurt after trying to avoid hitting a dog while cycling, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If a dog enters the cyclist's path, there is little that the cyclist can do to avoid a crash. Dogs that are not restrained by a leash or kept in a fenced in yard can pose real danger to cyclists. In fact, in cases where a roaming dog causes a bicycle crash, the dog owner can be held responsible. Most cities have some sort of law on the books that require that dogs be either leashed or kept in a yard. For example, in Falls Church, Virginia, dogs are not allowed to roam free on public land or on the private property of others. In such areas, dog owners can be held liable if their free-roaming dog is responsible for causing a crash.
If you are involved in a crash either striking or avoiding a loose dog, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, often through the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy. In order to get compensation, you will have to be able to provide as much documentation as possible that the dog was loose, that you crashed, and that the dog was responsible for you crashing. If you were riding with a friend or in a group, you can get someone riding with you to act as a witness to the crash. But even if you were riding alone, you may still be able to get compensation. If possible, photograph the dog. If the dog has tags indicating the owner, photograph them as well, and return to the dog to the owner if you are physically able. Be sure to explain what happened, and get the owner's contact information.
If you are unable to retrieve the dog or get the owner's contact information, note where the incident occurred and return when you are feeling better to speak with the neighbors. In many neighborhoods, homeowners are familiar with the dogs in the area, especially those allowed to roam free. They may be able to point you in the direction of the owner. Because it can be difficult to get a settlement in the event of a bicycle crash involving a dog, you should contact an experienced bicycle crash lawyer like Kass & Moses right away. An attorney can help collect any documentation you have and present it to the insurance company along with your medical bills and documentation of your injuries.
Dogs that are allowed to roam free are responsible for many bike crashes, and even deaths. If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident caused by a dog, contact Kass & Moses today to learn how we can help you get fair and just compensation for your injuries. Often, we can help you collect, even in these tricky cases. And remember that you do not pay us unless we get you financial compensation. Contact us today to learn more!