During a car accident, anyone can potentially be injured. This even includes pets, and in some cases, a pet might be even more vulnerable. Pets often do not have restraints and may be tossed around inside the car. If your pet is injured and you were not responsible for the accident, you may wonder if you can seek compensation for these injuries to your animal. You'll need to speak with a car accident lawyer after taking your pet to the veterinarian.
How a Pet is Handled in an Accident
A pet is considered a form of personal property. When your pet needs medical treatment, your property is damaged and you are entitled to compensation. Your own insurance provider is unlikely to cover damage for personal property, as insurance providers typically only cover the car itself, but the other driver might have a liability policy that covers damage done to personal property.
One problem with insurance policies is that they will often only pay the fair market value for your pet. For example, if your dog is only worth a few hundred dollars, that may be all you will receive in compensation, even if your medical bills are much higher. However, there are some insurance providers who will make exceptions for dogs and cats. Make sure to keep track of all the medical expenses you have had to pay for so that you will receive compensation for your vet bills.
Even if you do not receive full compensation for medical bills, you will likely have experienced other damages due to your accident, and you should include the value of your pet so you can at least receive some compensation for your bills. Your case will most likely be settled out of court. This means that your car accident lawyer will argue for a settlement. However, if you are not able to reach a settlement, you may need to sue the other party in court.
However, to receive compensation for your pet's injuries, you'll need to prove that the other party was fully at fault. If you did not have your pet properly retrained in the car, you might be accused of being responsible for your pet's injuries or even causing the accident. If you do not take your pet to receive treatment immediately, insurance providers that provide full compensation for dogs and cats may deny your claim. But once you have taken the initial steps, you must contact a lawyer.
For more information about working with a car accident lawyer to get compensation for your pet's injuries, contact a local law firm.