You can Recover Damages for Injuries Suffered by Your Pet in a Car Accident
Jared: Hi, I’m Jared Richards. I’m one of the partners here at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our readers has asked whether they can be reimbursed or compensated for injuries to their pet in a motor vehicle accident. The answer is yes. Yes, you can. Now the question is really what type of injuries can you be compensated for. Now the law looks at a pet as property. The legal term is chattel. You don’t get emotional damages for loss of property, loss of chattel, but you do get compensated for the actual damage done. If the pet was killed, then you would be reimbursed the value of the pet. If the pet is injured, you’d be reimbursed the value of the medical bills for the dog. Yes, you can be compensated. However, even though that dog may have been like your child, you’re not going to receive emotional damages for the loss of the dog.
Now you may be able to wrap in emotional damages into your other injuries and a jury, quite frankly, might think about the loss of the pet while deciding that, but as a technical matter, emotional damages for loss of pet is a no go. Brian, looks like you have a question.
Brian: If you nurse your own dog back to health, will you be able to claim any damages?
Jared: That’s an interesting question. I suppose yeah, maybe. The amount of time that you spent nursing and if you had to go out of pocket for anything additional if there are any special medicines or other equipment needed to give care, then yes, I suppose you could. It would be a more difficult claim. It’s a lot easier claim just to say here’s my vet bill. Pay the vet bill. If you have any more questions, give us a call.