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Dog Walking and a cyclist

(36 Posts)
alwaystryingtobeafriend Sun 05-Jul-15 15:04:51

So we had our pooch out for a long wal. Most of itis a nature walk/ walkway used by pedestrians / dog walkers and cyclists.

We like this particular walk as it means our dog can be off his lead for the most part. He has a verygood recall but he can get in the way.

However today we saw a cayclist and shouted on the dog. Dog stopped turned around to come to us and BOOM. Cyclist had slammed his brakes and toppled his handlebars and burst his face.

I don't think my dog done anything wrong and he was under control. The cyclist had no helmet and was wearing sandals. I personally think that the cyclist should have been going slower given that he should have seen the dog. I have very little sympathy for the man given he was ill prepared for his cycle. But I do hope he is ok.

My partner was excellent with the man. Took him to hospital for stitches. Got the man's bike home and contacted family for him. But he is a little worried that the man might make a claim against us.

Does anyone know if he can he do this? Would it go against the dogs insurance?

ADishBestEatenCold Sun 05-Jul-15 15:47:43

It's hard to be sure from your description exactly what happened.

"However today we saw a cyclist and shouted on the dog. Dog stopped turned around to come to us and BOOM."

Do you mean your dog turned into the cyclists path? Or do you mean that your dog was still some distance from the cyclist, stopped progressing when called, and turned returning immediately to you, but that the cyclist randomly braked anyway, despite the dog being nowhere near him?

"I don't think my dog done anything wrong and he was under control."

Do you mean your dog was off-lead but walking by your side? Or do you mean that your dog was a distance away from you, say closer to the cyclist than to you, but could be said to be under some sort of control in that he would return to you when called?

It sounds as if your dog/you could have been at fault, but really need more detail to form a proper opinion.

MythicalKings Sun 05-Jul-15 15:49:55

I think you can expect to get sued. Your dog was out of control, your fault.

ADishBestEatenCold Sun 05-Jul-15 15:50:28

Sorry, I didn't answer your questions.

I think the cyclist could make a civil suit claim against you.

Many (maybe most) dog insurance policies cover third party claims.

Backforthis Sun 05-Jul-15 15:51:23

If you can't stop safely you're going too fast and/or not being observant enough on a shared use path.

MistressChalk Sun 05-Jul-15 15:57:52

How the cyclist was dressed is irrelevant. Your dog would still have caused him to crash and be injured. Why would you let a dog free on a route you know is frequented by cyclists?? I wouldn't because I wouldn't want my poor dog to get hit rather than anything else!

MistressChalk Sun 05-Jul-15 16:02:18

I do agree that if he had to brake that hard he was probably going too fast and that's a dickhead thing to do on a path used by pedestrians etc. it could have been a child and not a dog. But you said yourself your dog can get in the way. I'd say this is probably a case of both parties bring a bit stupid.

AliceAlice1979 Sun 05-Jul-15 16:05:02

My dsd was injured in a similar incident, her bike was broken. We didn't sue but could have. I think it probably depends on wether your idea of under control and the cyclists is the same, and if the cyclist suffers a loss as a result. Wether he was wearing a helmet is irrelevant to a facial injury. He could argue your dog being on a lead is more important than wether he wore sandals or not. For what it's worth it sounds like you shouldn't have called your dog at that moment as that caused a response the cyclist wouldn't have predicted.

JinglyJanglyJungleBigGameTours Sun 05-Jul-15 16:08:06

As a cyclist I tend to assume dogs will stray into my path and go wide and slow when passing them but if the dog was going straight and then turned into the path of the cyclist when you called him then I think the blame is evenly spread.

I don't think the lack of helmet and sandals are relevant though and by the sounds of it, a helmet wouldn't have saved his face anyway.

Doubt he'll sue you though, it'll be too much hassle.

Cassie258 Sun 05-Jul-15 16:14:15

Ill prepared for his cycle? What on earth?! If it was a casual cycle, I believe sandals are acceptable attire and a helmet is his choice. He wasn't going for a hike up Everest! What would you expect him to be wearing and how would that make a difference to this incident???

I doubt you'll get sued. Your husband did everything he could. Did he take your details? If he did, then he probably has intent to sue. If he didn't, then how can he?

He probably just misjudged the brakes which is why he fell. I can't tell from your post if it was your fault, per se but it sounds as you tried to get your dog out of his way but that caused your dog to act in a manner he wasn't predicting and 'boom'.

lljkk Sun 05-Jul-15 16:28:51

What would have happened to your dog if the cyclist hadn't slammed on his brakes?

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sun 05-Jul-15 16:39:48

What he was wearing isn't relevant but I am a cyclist also and I am bewildered at why anyone going a cycle wouldn't haveon proper shoes or at least a helmet. That aside the dog was out in front of us not close enough to grab. But when called he stopped and turned to us albeit he was in the cyclists path.

I feel like the cyclist should have seen the dog and would have heard us call our dog so should have slowed down. I think he has waited til the last minute and slammed his brakes therefore causing him to come off the bike. I should also point out we passed about 20 other cyclists today and our dog reacted the same every time he was called back and there was no accidents.

My partner I think went over and above to help the man. He took his bike home, took the man to hospital waited with him until someone could come help him. He didn't have to do all that. I hope he doesn't sue as it was an accident but I guess we will need to wait and see.

lljkk Sun 05-Jul-15 16:43:36

I hate shared cyclist-pedestrian paths. Recipe for disaster.

It sounds like you could make a case that the cyclist was riding without due care and attention, if not your dog he could have hit a child because he wasn't aware enough to slow down appropriately. Sueing people is a huge hassle, I doubt he will pursue it.

Still might be safer to take your dog somewhere else if some people are cycling too fast. Next time they might just thump the dog instead of going over the bars.

grabaspoon Sun 05-Jul-15 16:48:05

When I cycle home I have to go through a park and often there are dogs off leads there, however slowly I am going - I could sometimes walk faster, I always end up with a dog just walking out in front of my bike, a dog called over by his owner stops doing what he was doing turns and walks back etc.

tomatodizzymum Sun 05-Jul-15 16:52:40

From your description it sounds like he only noticed the dog when you called the dog, then panicked. Would he have slammed into the dog if he hadn't slammed on his breaks? Or where you recalling your dog because you could see a speeding cyclist as a potential danger. In either of those cases, what on earth is he going to sue you for, allowing your dog to walk on a public footpath?

SquirrelChaser Sun 05-Jul-15 16:53:36

It's a path shared by cyclists and walkers. Both should be aware of the other, but the cyclists more so because they have the potential to cause serious damage if they don't pay attention to their surroundings. If he braked so hard that he went over the handlebars, it sounds like he wasn't a very good cyclist. At least it proved his brakes were good.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 05-Jul-15 17:05:41

I don't know if it was a Sustrans path but if it was they say that pedestrians have right of way. But also that dogs should be on leads.....that's what it states on their website. My local sustrans path has no signs saying that.

When I walk my dog on the path I try and be alert for cyclists and grab dog straight away. When I cycle on the path I go slowly past dogs and prepare to make emergency stops. But the amount of people who don't bother holding their dog and then they're suprised when the dog dashes out infront at the last minute amazes me. I have had some very near misses which were the dog owners fault.

I don't think he'd be able to sue as it will be your word against his. Even if he said dog was careering about out of control you would say he wasn't. You could say he was going too fast, he will say he was going slowly.

Floralnomad Sun 05-Jul-15 17:10:29

Did he ask for your details or did you volunteer them ? Personally I would have only told him my first name on the trip to casualty .

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 05-Jul-15 17:14:27

Cyclist should not have been going too fast to be able to stop BUT it sounds as if your dog walked in front of him.
6 of one, half a dozen of the other, IMO.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Sun 05-Jul-15 17:18:17

He probably would have hit my dog if we had left it.

My partner gave him his number.

I think it's a 50/50 fault.but I guess we will have to wait andsee. I have checked and out pet insurance covers third party claims.

BlossomTang Sun 05-Jul-15 17:20:58

I cycle a lot and you just know dogs can be unaware/unpredictable - so you have to anticipate. I see no way you can be sued, it's too much of a 50/50 scenario.

It's dog walkers with a 4m+ lead that get me, I'm used to seeing a dog on one side on its own and a human on the other side of a path and just know to look for the lead that I'm supposed to limbo under!!!

SunshineAndShadows Sun 05-Jul-15 17:30:37

OP can you describe better what actually happened? Did you call your dog back from the cyclist? your OP doesn't say so but you follow up post says you did. Its not very clear.

On mixed use paths dogs are often off lead but should be recalled as needed and cyclists needs to be aware that obstacles such as dog, small children on scooters etc may suddenly appear. Our local mixed use path has a speed limit of 6mph for cyclists and regular 'slow down' signs.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 05-Jul-15 17:35:41

I think the cyclist should have been going slower from what you have written.

I ride sometimes, I'm very cautious around dogs and small children, both are unpredictable. One of the reasons cyclists wanting to maintain a decent pace use the roads and we all know how that goes down on MN

I run and have to dodge dogs all the time, they change direction willy nilly. I ended up with one old Labrador between my legs because whichever way I moved he did. I just kind of straddled him till he passed through and carried on runninggrin

I like the promenade in the nearby town because they removed the cycle lane and now have shared access. But with clear signs saying pedestrians have priority. Also that dogs should be on leads. I just wish they'd add that extendable leads or metres long leads aren't allowed!

ADishBestEatenCold Sun 05-Jul-15 17:39:14

" the dog was out in front of us not close enough to grab. But when called he stopped and turned to us albeit he was in the cyclists path."

So your dog wasn't actually 'under control', as per your OP, and your dog did actually move into the cyclists path.

Yes, your fault, I think. He could sue, but I do think it is very possible your dog insurance includes third party liability. Have you checked your policy?

"My partner I think went over and above to help the man. He took his bike home, took the man to hospital waited with him until someone could come help him. He didn't have to do all that."

Nor the the cyclist have to brake so hard that it caused him injury. After all, if he hadn't taken that action, instead opting to run over your dog, he (the cyclist) might not have been injured so badly or even at all. Your dog, on the other hand, might have been badly injured. You don't seem at all grateful that the cyclist managed to avoid running over your dog.

"I should also point out we passed about 20 other cyclists today and our dog reacted the same every time he was called back"

So on 20 other occasions today you allowed your dog to get too far ahead of you to properly control and then called him, causing him to turn into the path of oncoming cyclists.
Fortunately the first 20 times you did this the cyclists managed to avoid both hitting your dog and having a fall.
Unfortunately, on the 21st occasion this happened (in one day) the cyclist in question only managed to avoid hitting your dog, but failed to save himself.

Do you not think that your ability to control your dog at distance is maybe not as good as you think and that you should have him on a lead?

CoogerAndDark Sun 05-Jul-15 17:44:33

Your dog reacted quickly and appropriately. I think the cyclist is lucky you got him medical help and that it wasn't a toddler or small child on the path 'not close enough to grab'. If he was cycling at a reasonable speed. He wouldn't have had to slam on his brakes causing him to lose control of his bike.

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