I was enjoying myself on a Sunday on my KTM Supermoto. I got over excited and I hoisted a wheelie. I wheelie quite frequently and I’m good at it. However, I do take care as to where I do it. I don’t do it in built up areas. I don’t do it when there are other cars around and I certainly don’t do it around any pedestrians or anything like that, because I know if I get it wrong, and I fall off my bike, I have no one to blame but myself.

However, I was not concentrating on who was behind me and the people in the car were not particularly impressed.

I then rode into a village – with my front wheel firmly on the ground. I know there is a speed camera in the village, so I know my speed was bang on 30 mph, when a dog dashed out from inside a parked car. I hit the dog and killed it. I have some soft tissue injuries to both of my hands, because when I hit the dog it added a little more to the braking than I was expecting. I didn’t fall off, but for the last three or four weeks I have had a lot of pain in the base of both my thumbs.

I now have had a letter of claim from the owners of the dog for the cost of replacement dog, the cremation costs of the dog and £500.00 for her feelings. Are they taking the mickey?

Name witheld

As a starting point nobody can claim money for hurt feelings as a result of the death of a dog. It makes me wonder who is acting for these people. It sounds to me like they have got claims monkeys. However, the actual cost of the dog and losses arising from his death could be recoverable, if you had done anything wrong. As I understand it the witnesses behind you said that you had performed a wheelie, but you had braked before you had gone into the village and the dog sprang out of a car. The dog coming out of a car is a matter that arises from the use of a vehicle on the road. It is negligent to allow a loose dog onto the carriageway, and the car insurance for the dog owners are liable, even though their pet insurance might cover it as well. The injuries you have sound to me like you have double gamekeepers thumb, which is an intrusive injury. We see a lot of it here. It is worth your while seeing about getting a further X-ray if the injury has not healed up after a few weeks, because it can sometimes be hard to tell this from a fractured scaphoid, which is a really troublesome injury.

The fact that you were messing about prior to the accident is neither here nor there. In order for you to be to blame for the accident, whereby this dog was killed, you would need to have been doing something wrong at the time of the accident that affected the accident. You were riding at the speed limit when somebody released a dog in front of you. The claims monkeys for the car driver (and the reason I call them claims monkeys is because they are trying to put forward a case that any competent lawyer knows is completely unsustainable in law) need to be told by your insurers exactly where to get off. You, however, do have a claim, and your claim is a straightforward and simple one. Your wheelie, whilst it is not going to endear you to a judge, makes absolutely no difference in this case at all and don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise.

Andrew Dalton

Who let the dogs out? – Fast Bikes Magazine November 2010

Andrew Dalton has been writing articles for Fast Bikes Magazine for a considerable period and have condensed what we believe are the most useful articles to you. White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors deal with personal injury claims and our sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deal with any road traffic offences.