Car Accidents and Injured Pets: Your Legal Rights

Personal Injury Lawyer Serving all of Los Angeles

Many people consider their pets to be more than just animals, but part of the family.  Unfortunately, humans are sometimes not the only victims in a car accident and pets are injured as well.  Seeing our beloved pets in pain is heartbreaking, and the resulting care they may require can be extremely expensive, especially since most pet owners don’t even consider purchasing pet insurance.

The question then becomes, “Can I file a lawsuit for my injured pet?”

The answer depends largely on the type of accident in which your pet suffered harm.

First of all, from an insurance perspective, you should know that the bodily injury coverage applies to injuries your pets as it would for nay human passengers in your vehicle, and by law, you are mandated to carry at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability.  As the owner, however, you are responsible for adequately restraining and securing your pet while you operate your vehicle.

In addition, the DMV recommends that pets be kept in the backseat if the vehicle is equipped with airbags, which can seriously harm your pet in the event of a collision.

As an at-fault state, California leaves injured individuals free to pursue claims for financial damages, and the purpose of car accident claims is to compensate the victims for all economic losses when someone behaves negligently.  A beloved pet who suffers an injury, then, falls under the umbrella of a loss if medical care is needed.  Such care can easily cost thousands of dollars, an added strain on top of the thought of losing your pet.

As with any car accident claim, you need to establish a few points to substantiate your case:

  • The other driver was to blame for the car accident
  • Your pet suffered harm as a direct result of the accident
  • These injuries resulted in damages in the form of medical bills for your pet, or time you needed off work to tend to them

Thus, it is entirely possible for your to file a successful claim against the driver who injured your pet, especially with the help of a knowledgeable Los Angeles car accident attorney.  Bear in mind that as a comparative negligence state, California will obligate you to cover a share of any damages incurred depending on the percentage of the accident for which you were to blame.

What to do if your pet is hurt in an accident

Step 1 is protecting your pet’s well-being by obtaining medical attention for them by taking them to the vet.  Ask them for as much documentation as possible regarding your pet’s treatment and the extent of their injuries which can later be incorporated into your case to ensure you get the compensation you (and your pet) deserves.

Other evidence should be collected as well: this includes things like pictures of the accident scene, pictures of your pet’s injuries, and any other piece of information pertaining to the accident.

As with any accident, you can greatly help your case by getting the contact information from any witnesses to the accident who can corroborate your story.  Handing the names and phone numbers of witnesses to your injury attorney can go a long way towards recovering fair compensation.

If the event that your pet does not survive the accident, you may be able to pursue damages through a wrongful death suit.  If you pet does pass away, make sure your veterinarian can determine the cause of death.

Jacob Emrani: Your Advocate for Injured Pets

If your pet was harmed in a car accident, there are typically considerable financial and emotional strains that come with it.  Our personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles at the Law Offices of Jacob Emrani handles car accident and personal injury claims constantly, and we have all the tools needed to hold careless parties accountable for your damages.  Call our firm to learn how we can help you after a serious accident.

Set up a consultation with our firm by calling (888) 952-2952.