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Question
My dog was hit by a courtesy vehicle from a local auto dealership. The driver was giving me a ride while my vehicle was being serviced.  My dog was in the yard and the driver pulled into my driveway and that's when my dog was hit.  Vet bills are extensive. Does the auto dealership have the responsibility to take care of vet bills. The dogs were in their yard and contained by an invisible fence

Answer
Tony,

As a dog owner myself with 3 "fur kiddos", I can certainly appreciate your situation.

Unfortunately, unless there was a case of clear negligence on the part of the driver of the courtesy vehicle, there is no definitive liability on their part. There was no expectation of the dog being in the driveway (which is intended for vehicle use) and the reality is that you would actually have a case of contributory negligence on your part by allowing the dog into that area of the property that was included within the area inside the invisible fence.

The courtesy van was likely covered with a business auto policy and there is an outside chance that there may be coverage for "damage to property of others" without a determination of liability. This is kind of a "here's $500 for your troubles ... now leave us alone" type of coverage. If you choose to file against that policy, be prepared to answer questions about the possible contributory negligence. Some states say that if you are 51% at fault, then you recover nothing.

Hope this helps and your dog recovers fine.

Kevin Hromas
JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, HCRI-R/C, CPIU

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Kevin Hromas

Expertise

I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.

Experience

After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Organizations
Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association

Publications
Claims Magazine (www.ClaimsMag.com and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.) www.ClaimsPages.com, www.ProAdjuster.org, www.KevinHromas.com

Education/Credentials
JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

Past/Present Clients
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm), Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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