In the aftermath of a car accident, your first concern is ensuring that everyone in your vehicle is alright. That includes not just your human passengers but your pets as well. In the event of an accident, it is important to understand how you may be entitled to compensation for an injured animal. Some states allow pet owners who have lost a companion to collect the “market value” of the pet, damages for sentimental value, or mental and emotional distress. Depending on the circumstances a dog owner may be able to convince a court to pay for multiple situations. Tolbert Beadle’s car accident attorney is here to give you some information you should find if you experience an accident that injures your pet companion.
Cost of Treatment
When a pet is injured it can be possible that the person responsible for the accident can be responsible for the cost of any required treatment. If your animal is injured, keep records of all bills for treatment, medication, and hospitalization to use during negotiations or at trial. Inform your car accident attorney of any bills you received regarding pet injury treatment.
Market or Replacement Value
If an accident results in the loss of your pet, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the person who was at fault. Some courts award the pet owner the market value of the animal, others offer the amount it would cost to replace your pet. Factors to consider include:
- Purchase Price
- Special Traits/Characteristics of Value
Depending on a multitude of factors you car accident attorney can look to receive compensation that is higher than the standard market value of your pet.
Often times the value of a pet to the owner is much higher than a standard market value for a similar replacement. Sentimental value and the owner’s attachment may influence the potential compensation the owner can seek. It can be difficult to put an exact dollar value on a pets companionship and sentimental value. However, many courts will allow your car accident attorney to address this aspect and depending on evidence of special value in the owner’s life may influence the court’s award.
Some courts have recognized that a pet is not just an object but occupies a special place between a person and a piece of personal property. This aspect of the case is shown by some courts’ willingness to allow a car accident attorney to sue for mental anguish when a pet is lost because of reckless or malicious acts. This aspect of the law is developing and depends on the state and court where the case occurs. The best way to get a feel for what the courts will decide is to discuss the mental anguish you have suffered with your car accident attorney. This will allow them to get an idea of the damages to pursue on your behalf.
Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Don’t take chances on your legal future. Contact Tolbert Beadle, LLC right away to schedule a free case evaluation. If you or one of your pets has been injured or worse in a car accident we have the aggressive attorney needed to get you the compensation that you deserve. You can call us at 1-800-887-4030 or contact us online today.