What if My Furry Friend Is Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Whether your furry friend is your beloved cat, Fido, or Fifi, they are an accident victim, and you can pursue compensation for their injuries following a motor vehicle accident in Texas. Texas statutes consider pets as personal property, which means that you have the legal right to pursue compensation for vet bills and other expenses following a car crash.
Claims for Pets
As with human injuries, you will need to take your furry friend to the animal hospital or vet clinic for a full evaluation following a motor vehicle accident in Texas. This creates a paper trail that documents the injuries, prescribed medications, and expected treatment outcomes.
You can submit this claim to the at-fault driver's liability insurance provider along with the claim that addresses your own personal injuries and other property damage. However, keep in mind that many insurance providers limit coverage for injuries pets suffer. Moreover, other insurance providers exclude certain breeds and species from coverage altogether. Notably, horses, exotic birds, snakes, lizards, and many species of lizards, are regularly excluded.
What if Fido Crosses the Rainbow Bridge?
Car accidents can cause devastating, sometimes fatal injuries to small animals. If your animal succumbs to its injuries, Texas statutes will only allow you to recover the fair market value of the animal. This varies significantly based on breed, animal age, whether the animal had specialized training, or was a "champion" show animal that generated revenue for the owner, etc.
Of course, the loss of a beloved pet can cause significant emotional distress. However, this is difficult to prove, and while there are precedents for awarding compensation for the emotional distress the loss can cause, it is a difficult bar to reach.
Texas law doesn't require pet owners to restrain their pets while in a motor vehicle. However, making sure your pet is secured in a pet carrier or restrained by a seat belt is the best way to protect them from becoming an accident victim with severe and potentially fatal injuries from a motor vehicle collision in San Antonio.
If your pet suffers injuries in a motor vehicle collision, we can help you understand your rights and legal options. We encourage you to contact the team at Welmaker Injury Law at (210) 828-6033. It is our pleasure to give you the guidance you need to move forward with your injury compensation claim.