Can I Receive Compensation for My Pet’s Medical Bills from the At-Fault Driver?

For most pet owners, their furry loved ones are members of the family. So when they get hurt in a car accident, the loss can be quite similar to those endured if a human was affected. A pet may need medical care for injuries, resulting in expensive veterinary bills, along with pain and suffering felt by the owners for what their furry best friend had to go through. If your pet was hurt in a car collision where the other driver was at-fault, then you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your pet’s medical bills. 

Do courts really award compensation when it comes to injured pets?

Yes, if your pet was injured in the auto accident and you incurred expenses for veterinary care, then the court may award compensation for these bills. The pet’s health prior to the accident and age may be taken into account when determining how much is reasonable to award the owner.

You may be permitted to recover restitution for damages by filing a claim directly with the driver’s insurance company. However, every insurer handles coverage regarding pets differently, so if they do not cover furry family members, then you may have to file a civil case against the driver with help from an attorney.

What if my pet was killed in the car accident?

Having a pet die because another car driver was being careless, can surely be enough to spiral the owner into a rage and strong motivation to seek justice. Unfortunately, pets are still considered “property” by law, so the value of your pet may be decided based on how much they would sell for. Factors that may be used to calculate a monetary award include the pet’s age, purchase price, breed, health, and pedigree. If your pet was a breeding or service animal, then the owner may be given compensation for loss of revenue.

You can also fight to receive an award for how much it would cost to replace your pet. While no amount of many can bring them back, replacement value is usually higher than market value. This can understandably be a very sensitive topic, so it is important that you hire a motor vehicle accident lawyer in Washington, DC that is strategic and compassionate as you seek compensation for the loss of your furry family member.

How can I seek restitution for my pain and suffering?

Seeing your pet in pain can cause immense emotional distress for owners, especially if their pet was taken away from them too soon. Due to this anguish, the court may award loss of companionship, loss of love and affection, along with emotional distress for the loss of the pet. Compensation for emotional stress may be given if your pet had been killed by a driver who was driving with maliciousness. Your attorney can talk with you about how to seek punitive damages for your case, which can also serve as punishment and hold that driver accountable for their behavior.

Thanks to Cohen & Cohen for their insight into personal injury claims and pet medical bills from a car accident injury.