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Dog chased me, I crashed, lost small claims case ... Advice ?

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Dog chased me, I crashed, lost small claims case ... Advice ?

Old 12-06-09, 01:29 PM
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superskip
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Dog chased me, I crashed, lost small claims case ... Advice ?

Should I just give up ? The magistrate ruled that since no contact occurred 'tween me and dog, and there is no local leash law - that the owner was not responsible.

I'm a tad irate about this - nice residential neighborhood in which I've been cycling on occasion over the past 40 years.
Now, $1500 ambulance and hospital fees (but no serious lasting injuries, 'mild concussion' and contusions/bruises).

The owner stood on her porch and watched the dog take off after me, then pretended ignorance and lied under oath.

I will appeal - does anyone know of precedents or other statutes I may cite in court that hold an owner accountable under similar circumstances - this being the state of North Carolina ... ?
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Old 12-06-09, 01:33 PM
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How did you crash.? More details..
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Old 12-06-09, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by superskip View Post
Should I just give up ?

[SNIP]
I will appeal - does anyone know of precedents or other statutes I may cite in court that hold an owner accountable under similar circumstances - this being the state of North Carolina ... ?
Do you have any option to appeal? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't you sign an agreement to accept the ruling of the small claims court, win or lose? If so, you lost, give up.
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Old 12-06-09, 02:07 PM
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ride by again

I'm guessing you're done but IANAL. I'd get a can of bear spray (pepper spray) and drive by that house every day and spray that dog until it was taught that bicycle = pain. Friends of mine might drive by and shoot the dog if it attacked again but I think that would be dangerous and counterproductive.
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Old 12-06-09, 02:55 PM
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Unless you can prove the dog owner committed perjury and that perjury likely played in the judges decision, I am afraid your at the end of the road. Maybe it is time to push for a leash law.
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Old 12-06-09, 03:09 PM
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Who says the OP was attacked? There was no contact at all. What I want to know is what the dog did after you crashed? Licked your wounds? Or gnawed your arm off?

Originally Posted by digibud View Post
I'm guessing you're done but IANAL. I'd get a can of bear spray (pepper spray) and drive by that house every day and spray that dog until it was taught that bicycle = pain. Friends of mine might drive by and shoot the dog if it attacked again but I think that would be dangerous and counterproductive.
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Old 12-06-09, 03:27 PM
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While it's iffy without contact or a leash law, I don't see how either are pertinent. The dog is still someone else's responsibility, and it caused an accident. There are no leash laws for children, but the same argument is used to make parents liable for the actions of their kids.

As for contact: were you supposed to wait around and see what a pursuing dog wanted to do when it caught you?
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Old 12-06-09, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
As for contact: were you supposed to wait around and see what a pursuing dog wanted to do when it caught you?
Apparently the judge and filtersweep think so.
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Old 12-06-09, 05:10 PM
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It sounds like the real problem might be lack of evidence. If there were no witnesses besides the OP and the dog's owner then how is the judge to know if the dog actually did cause the crash or if this is just some greedy cyclist trying to blame someone else for his own crash? It's basically the OP's word against the dog owner's.
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Old 12-06-09, 05:29 PM
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No leash law? Do you mean that dogowners in this community are not responsible for keeping their animals under any control? I've lived and cycled in 14 different cities and 5 different states and have never heard of anything so backward.
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Old 12-06-09, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by superskip View Post
Should I just give up ? The magistrate ruled that since no contact occurred 'tween me and dog, and there is no local leash law - that the owner was not responsible.

I'm a tad irate about this - nice residential neighborhood in which I've been cycling on occasion over the past 40 years.
Now, $1500 ambulance and hospital fees (but no serious lasting injuries, 'mild concussion' and contusions/bruises).

The owner stood on her porch and watched the dog take off after me, then pretended ignorance and lied under oath.

I will appeal - does anyone know of precedents or other statutes I may cite in court that hold an owner accountable under similar circumstances - this being the state of North Carolina ... ?
It is unfortunate that you lost the case, however i bet everybody in the courtroom knows the woman lied. Nobody can prove it though.

If you cycle in areas with bad dogs - do as the other posters advised, strap some bear-spray to your top-tube and feel free to spray any being that aggressively charges you(including crack heads). Self-defense laws allow you to defend yourself before an attack if there was reasonable evidence such an attack as going to occur. I think being charged at by some random dog and spraying it in self-defense is quite valid. Just remember to spray down-wind.
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Old 12-06-09, 06:25 PM
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Looks like you've got a "one free bite" law in place.

I'd argue that if the dog didn't hit you, then you crashed because you couldn't control your bicycle. Many people have hit dogs with bicycles and not gone down. I've not been knocked down by one, have hit several and had several hit me. I even hit one hard on a light motorcycle and didn't go down. I've been chased and harassed by dogs many times, even here in a strict liability state. Just happened an hour ago, had a hound make a nice run at the motorcycle. Missed him by 3 ft. So why did YOU fall down without contact?

There's the rub. Let's assume that the law does (as it seems to on brief look) allow dogs that are not dangerous as defined by the state law to roam "at large." The owner sees dog run after cycle, does nothing. Cyclist falls down. Where's the case? The dog wasn't dangerous as defined. The dog didn't contact. The owner doesn't have any duty to control or confine a non-dangerous dog. Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see the case.
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Old 12-06-09, 07:28 PM
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That sucks, but I'd also like to know the circumstances of you falling off the bike.

Had a couple dog encounters; one, a 8-9 month old pit was chasing me, too young and exuberant to be dangerously aggressive, but I taught him a lesson anyway -- a quick jerk on the bar rolled my rear tire over his front feet. Never saw him again.

Just a few days ago, on my way home from work, a dog rushed out of his open yard -- no chain, no restraint, and inside the city, so that's against the law here -- and ignored my bellowing at him. No owner in sight. 2nd time for this dog, although it doesn't actually attack. 3rd encounter WILL rate a call to Animal Control.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:13 PM
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Along with the suggestion of using bear spray in the January/February issue Bicycling magazine they suggest carrying dog treats to throw at/towards the dog as a distraction.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Along with the suggestion of using bear spray in the January/February issue Bicycling magazine they suggest carrying dog treats to throw at/towards the dog as a distraction.
No no no! This is absolutely the WRONG thing to do! This is a perfect example of classical conditioning. If a dog chases you and gets a treat it's going to make him think that chasing cyclists will result in getting treats. The next time he sees a bicycle what do you think he's going to do? He's going to chase it so he can get another treat.

Please, for the sake of other cyclists in your area, do NOT give treats to dogs who chase cyclists. They need a negative experience like bear spray/ammonia/etc in order to teach them not to chase cyclists any more.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hairyman View Post
No no no! This is absolutely the WRONG thing to do! This is a perfect example of classical conditioning. If a dog chases you and gets a treat it's going to make him think that chasing cyclists will result in getting treats. The next time he sees a bicycle what do you think he's going to do? He's going to chase it so he can get another treat.

Please, for the sake of other cyclists in your area, do NOT give treats to dogs who chase cyclists. They need a negative experience like bear spray/ammonia/etc in order to teach them not to chase cyclists any more.
Wow, wouldn't want to ride in an area where someone did this. Skinner box, y'all.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:54 PM
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in NJ we have a leash-law for dogs.
dogs must be leashed in public, to owner's control.
where does OP live?
is it legal to for owners to allow dogs to be un-leashed, free to attack with-out owner responsibility?
clarity please!
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Old 12-07-09, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by hairyman View Post
No no no! This is absolutely the WRONG thing to do! This is a perfect example of classical conditioning. If a dog chases you and gets a treat it's going to make him think that chasing cyclists will result in getting treats. The next time he sees a bicycle what do you think he's going to do? He's going to chase it so he can get another treat.

Please, for the sake of other cyclists in your area, do NOT give treats to dogs who chase cyclists. They need a negative experience like bear spray/ammonia/etc in order to teach them not to chase cyclists any more.
I don't do that, I was saying that it is what is being suggested in the current issue of Bicycling magazine.
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Old 12-07-09, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tomg View Post
in NJ we have a leash-law for dogs.
dogs must be leashed in public, to owner's control.
where does OP live?
is it legal to for owners to allow dogs to be un-leashed, free to attack with-out owner responsibility?
clarity please!
I believe that the OP said that in their OP that they lived in North Carolina. Where in North Carolina I don't think the OP said. I did find this for Gaston County:

Section 3-8. Responsibilities of owner to control dog.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, care, custody or control of any dog to fail to keep such dog exclusively upon his own premises, or on the private premises of another with prior consent provided, however, a dog may leave such premises only if:
(1) A dog is under restraint by virtue of being in the custody of a competent person and held by a leash, chain, or other device of sufficient strength to maintain control of the dog by that person;
(2) A dog is under direct control by virtue of being held within a secure enclosure;
(3) A dog is engaged in organized hunting activities on private property with the consent of the owner of the property.

And this for the state of North Carolina:

67-12. Permitting dogs to run at large at night; penalty; liability for damage No person shall allow his dog over six months old to run at large in the nighttime unaccompanied by the owner or by some member of the owner's family, or some other person by the owner's permission. Any person intentionally, knowingly, and willfully violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and shall also be liable in damages to any person injured or suffering loss to his property or chattels.
Amended by Laws 1993, c. 539, 534; Laws 1994 (1st Ex. Sess.), c. 24, 14(c). eff. March 26, 1994.
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Old 12-07-09, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Apparently the judge and filtersweep think so.
We still don't have any details here--- for all we know, the OP panicked, freaked out, and rode off the road. The OP hasn't even returned to this thread, following "post number 1" (which could even be the mark of a troll--- who knows?).

Most rural areas don't have leash laws...
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Old 12-07-09, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by filtersweep View Post
We still don't have any details here--- for all we know, the OP panicked, freaked out, and rode off the road. The OP hasn't even returned to this thread, following "post number 1" (which could even be the mark of a troll--- who knows?).

Most rural areas don't have leash laws...
Ya mean you think provincial city boys, especially provincial cyclist city boys, are expected to know anything about rural areas? Not on this Forum, my friend.
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Old 12-07-09, 08:06 AM
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Crappy situation and unfortunate for you. Pepper spray is standard equipment on my ride. If a dog comes after you in the future, just throw a little seasoning on him.......
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Old 12-07-09, 08:22 AM
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You've done all you can, the attack is on record in case it happens again. As far as your legal case goes, I'd let it go. At some point you have to let go for your own health.
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Old 12-07-09, 08:43 AM
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You will not get reliable legal advice here. Any further posting on this subject could later be used against you.

Contact a local lawyer. If you don't have a favorite, contact local cycling organizations for any suggestions.
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Old 12-07-09, 09:21 AM
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id start riding by the place with a can of Halt at the ready.
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