Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Dog Knocks Car Into Gear, Runs Over Man

It's not everyday that you read a "dog runs over man" headline, but that's apparently what happened in Pennsylvania.

Police say a dog was left inside a running car when the animal accidentally knocked the vehicle into gear, reports the York Daily Record.

As the vehicle started to slowly drive away, an unidentified man tried to stop the car before it hit a parked truck. However, the man was unsuccessful in his attempt and ended up getting pinched between the two vehicles.

By the time police arrived, the victim was lying in the street and had to be taken to a hospital, writes the Daily Record. He reportedly struck his head, fell to the ground, and was found unconscious.

As the man regains his senses from getting run over by a dog, he may want to seek compensation for his injuries. But he may not be able to sue the dog's owner.

In a car accident, one party will typically have to show that the other party was negligent or responsible for the accident. While the chain of events leading up to the accident appears clear, there may be an issue as to whether the accident was foreseeable.

Generally, someone is only responsible for an injury if the injury was reasonably foreseeable from his actions. For example, if you drive drunk, it's foreseeable that you will cause an accident. However, in the case of the dog running over the man, how foreseeable is it that a dog would somehow kick the vehicle into gear?

In addition, it appears that the victim may have placed himself in a position to get injured. Based on reports, the victim apparently tried to stop the vehicle before it could collide with the parked truck. By attempting to stop the vehicle, an argument may be made that he put himself in harm's way.

If a lawsuit is brought, these legal issues will need to be cleared up. Perhaps the only thing we know for sure is that the dog will likely escape liability.

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