Drivers may claim damages for a pet injured in a car accident. Much of this depends on who was at fault for the accident, so establishing liability is important.
How Fault Plays a Role When a Pet is Injured in a Car Accident
If another driver was responsible for the accident, his/her property damage liability would likely cover the pet. Even though the pet may be a beloved part of the family, injuries or death don’t fall under bodily injury liability. The pet is considered property.
Some of the damages that may be recoverable include:
- veterinarian visits;
- hospitalization; and
- cost to replace a pet.
However, if the pet owner was at fault for the accident, the ability to claim injuries or death will depend on pet owner’s insurance. Sometimes collision automatically covers pets. But since West Virginia doesn’t require this coverage, if the driver doesn’t have it he or she cannot make a claim for the pet.
Some auto insurance companies offer separate pet injury coverage. In that case it’s likely that this coverage would cover any damages sustained in a car accident. This is different than pet illness and injury insurance, though, which covers illness or injury. Make sure you fully understand what pet insurance covers and any limitations of this insurance.
Talk to an Attorney about Car Accident Damages
If an accident caused someone to sustain severe, disabling or life-threatening injuries, then the injured party may pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Along with damages related to the driver’s medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, drivers may also seek compensation if a pet is injured in the car accident. Learn more about your options based on your particular circumstances – call The Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 to set up a consultation.