If your pet has been injured in a St. Louis car crash you may be wondering if you are entitled to compensation for their injuries.
If you have a pet, you may consider it a part of the family. You may do everything you can to make sure they are loved, fed, and safe. However, sometimes, your pet’s safety can be out of your control.
For instance, if you ride in a car with your pet and get in a car accident, they could get severely injured. Apart from the pains caused to your pet and your family, the veterinary bills can add up and drain your budget. So, now you’re probably wondering: can I get compensation when the injured passenger is a pet?
The short answer is that it is possible. While it’s best to reach out to an experienced attorney, here are some general things to keep in mind.
Getting Compensated for Your Pet’s Injuries
Missouri law states that if you are the victim of a car accident, you are generally entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages from the party at fault. The law does not explicitly mention whether pets fall under these categories, but since these proceedings most likely will go through the other driver’s insurance, they’ll be the ones to decide.
Insurance companies tend to handle these cases differently. Still, if you work with a lawyer, they can argue the veterinary costs constitute a burden on you directly caused by the accident. Therefore you may be entitled to be compensated for it, as it would not have happened if it weren’t for the accident.
The amount you’ll be compensated, however, will depend on a few factors. In most cases, the pet’s age is considered because older pets are more prone to complications. The argument here is that if the pet were younger, then the medical treatment it needs wouldn’t be as extensive as it would for older pets.
Other factors that may influence the final sum of the compensation include the pet’s health history, purchase price, breed, and pedigree. Many insurance companies consider pets as property in these cases, so they analyze the situation by calculating the pet’s value and seeing the potential losses caused by the accident.
Other methods insurance adjusters may use to calculate the cost of replacement and factor in any unique economic values if the pet is trained to perform any special tasks (as it is with the case of guide dogs). All these details can factor in and influence the final amount.
What Should You Do?
If your pet has been injured in a car accident, speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible and discuss the details of the case with them. They can advise the best course of action to ensure your pet’s treatment gets compensated by the person who’s caused their injuries.
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