Other Driver Says A Dog Caused The Car Wreck

That brown dog. The jerk.

The brown dog is all over the pages of deposition transcripts. He’s always brown. Usually about 40 pounds. His breed is unclear. He’s possibly part lab, maybe some terrier, we’re not really sure. Whatever he looks like he’s the bigfoot of the car accident defense world.

My dog - Brady.
My dog – Brady.

If a car wreck is caused by some sudden emergency, a driver may not be held accountable for causing an accident. Lawyers call this the “sudden emergency doctrine”.

In a case where a driver has a sudden heart attack while driving the doctrine makes sense. The driver had no way to control his vehicle.

But the dog. The dog is much woo.

The basic psychology is our brain is wired to protect itself. Many folks have difficulty accepting responsibility when they cause harm to others. The brain wants a way out. Any way out.

So when an insurance company interviews a client, it can plant the suggestion in his client’s mind by asking the question”did a dog jump out in front of you?”

Many times people in car accidents don’t accurately remember the accident. There’s a fog. In that fog may be a dog.

The good news is we know how to deal with that damn dog. Yes, we do.


We don’t chase the dog. Not for a second. A driver has an obligation to keep his eyes on the road and vehicle under control. We focus on the conduct of the driver. We do this in deposition and if necessary at trial. By the time we’re done there’s no doubt there was no dog. None.

Don’t for a second accept the insurance company’s brown dog story. That’s something they created to protect their money.

Other car wreck posts you may like:

Injured? 3 Insurance Company Dirty Tricks

I Was Injured. Will The Insurance Company Use Private Investigators To Follow Me?

Was The Driver Who Hit Me Reckless?

Ryan McKeen is a trial attorney at Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2016, he was honored by the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame for securing one of the highest settlements in the state. He is a New Leader in the Law. ABA 100. Avvo 10. 40 under 40 for Hartford Business Journal. He has been quoted in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Hartford Courant, Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Hartford Business Journal. He focuses his practice on Connecticut Personal Injury law. He loves what he does. Contact him ryan@cttrialfirm.com or 860 471 8333

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