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Your pet is invaluable to you. No amount of money or another pet could replace your current dog or cat. Once you brought your new pet home, you were instantly attached to the companionship, affection, and fun the animal brought to your life. That is why when your pet is injured in a car accident, it can be as devastating as your own injuries. Watching your furry family member suffer is unfathomable. In addition to the mental distress this causes you, animal injuries can lead to significant veterinary bills.
If you are suffering financial and emotional losses because your pet was injured in a car accident, contact an auto accident lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away to learn about your options for compensation. Call us today at (312) 236-2900.
It may be possible to recover for your economic damages associated with an injured pet after a car accident. Keep in mind that your pet’s injuries are not considered personal injuries like your own. Instead, under Illinois law, your pet is a special type of personal property. The injuries to your pet are more analogous to property damage following a car accident. While this can be emotionally difficult to accept, it does provide you with an opportunity to gain some compensation for your pet’s injuries. When you file a car accident claim with an insurer or court, you should calculate the financial cost associated with your pet’s injuries and seek reimbursement. These expenses can include surgeries, overnight stays at the vet, medications, special equipment, and all other veterinary or necessary in-home care.
There are limits to what you can ask for in relation to a pet’s injuries. An insurer or court may only reimburse you for what it deems to be reasonable expenses to treat an injured pet. For example, if your 15-year-old yellow lab was severely injured and you chose an extensive and expensive surgery instead of euthanasia, you may not be compensated for the full expense of the surgery. However, you and your attorney have every right to argue that a treatment was necessary and appropriate based on the animal’s health, longevity, and other circumstances.
Watching your pet suffer is not only devastating in that moment, it can also have deep and long-lasting effects on your emotional well-being. If you are suffering due to your animal’s injuries, treatment, recovery, and lasting side effects, you may be able to recover compensation. However, proving mental anguish after a car accident can be difficult, particularly if it stems for your pet’s injuries and not your own physical injuries. You should speak with your attorney about the likelihood of obtaining compensation for mental anguish based on your pet’s injuries and what type of evidence you would need to prove your distress to an insurer or court.
If your pet was an award-winning show dog or highly trained support animal, then you may be able to recover a greater amount of compensation. When a show dog or support animal is injured, it may not be able to return to its previous activities. An injured show dog may no longer have the requisite appearance and gait to win. This could cost you future expected income from prizes or having your dog used for breeding. An injured support animal may be unable to perform essential duties for you, requiring you to purchase a new one costing tens of thousands of dollars. If your dog was worth a great deal more than an ordinary pet and you lost income or services due to its injuries, speak with your attorney about fighting for additional compensation.
It is heartbreaking to watch your pet go through an injury it cannot understand, especially when you have to make difficult medical decisions that will cost you a great deal of money. However, when your everyday companion is hurt and in need of care, you may rightfully choose to do whatever it takes to make your pet well. If this situation is caused by someone else’s negligence behind the wheel, you have the right to seek compensation. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. Call the experienced lawyers of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. as soon as possible at (312) 236-2900 or contact us online.