The Disgruntled Kat (kat144) wrote in etiquetteworld,
The Disgruntled Kat

Hypothetical question

Yeah, I know, most of them I ask are!

So say Bob is driving, and accidentally hits Jane's dog/cat which was in the street. There was no way Bob could've stopped--he didn't hit the animal deliberately or because he wasn't paying attention/was driving recklessly/whatever. Jane was not there when this happened--it's not like the animal broke its leash and suddenly got away from her; it was just running free--perhaps she allowed it to, perhaps it just escaped the house previously.

Who pays for the animal's veterinary bills: Bob who was driving and technically injured it even though he couldn't help it, or Jane who didn't keep her animal under control even though she didn't technically cause the injury?

(It's a hypothetical situation but sorta based on a couple real-life events: 1. the time several years ago when my mom came home crying because she'd hit a cat with her car [it was snowy out, she was being tailgated by a truck, the cat ran in front of her and she tried to stop but couldn't slam on the brakes because of the truck, plus her car started sliding when she tried to brake; the car must not've hit the cat TOO hard because she saw it run off, but she thinks she did hit it at least a little--it ran sort of toward a nearby house but she wasn't sure if it lived there or just ran into the yard. I think she was too upset to think straight at the time, but I wondered later if she should've stopped at the house in case it *was* their cat and informed them they should take it to a vet and perhaps offered to pay the bill (even though she is on disability and can't afford it). It was a rural area so it was probably an outdoor cat, or an indoor/outdoor cat--that's common in those parts], and 2. the other day when I was on the highway and saw a dog that had been hit by a car [the people were stopped and one lady was in the road with the dog--I don't know if the dog was allowed to run free, or if it was a runaway, or what; there were houses in the area but not really near to where the dog got hit. Hopefully the dog was wearing a collar so they could call the owner(s) and let them know]).
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