What if Your Pet Gets Injured in a Car Crash?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jan 26, 2021 in Auto Accidents
Unfortunately, people are not always as cautious as they should be when they bring their pets with them on a car ride. Often people simply put their dog in the back seat and let them wander around. Throwing caution to the wind like this means pets are at risk for serious injury if a crash occurs.
However, even if you put a dog, cat or other pet in a kennel or cage, the animal could still suffer an injury in a collision.
As many pet owners know, veterinary treatment for injuries to pets can quickly become very expensive. Fortunately, if your pet was injured in a crash you may be able to recover compensation from an insurance claim. Learn more below.
Pets are Considered the Property of the Owner
Arizona is an at-fault state when it comes to financial responsibility for car accident damages. That means the person who caused the accident is liable for damages. The at-fault party generally turns to his or her car insurance to cover the victim’s damages.
Arizona requires drivers to carry liability and property damage coverage. Liability coverage pays only for the victim’s medical bills. Property damage insurance covers the costs of damages to the victim’s car, as well as other personal property.
While many of us consider our pets part of the family, for insurance purposes, they are classified as personal property. This means the at-fault driver’s property damage insurance should cover the costs of any injuries your pet sustained as a result of the accident.
What About Filing a Claim with My Own Insurance Company?
Unfortunately, this may not be possible. Even if you purchased more than the minimum required coverage, it is unlikely it would cover injuries to your pet. For example, collision coverage only covers damage to your car, not other personal property.
How Much Would Insurance Cover?
This is where things get complicated. Insurance policies may have limits on coverage for injuries to pets. For example, does insurance cover the full cost of veterinary treatment or simply the market value of your pet?
Some insurance policies only cover what you paid for the animal. Say you paid $300 to purchase a pet from a shelter. The insurance may only cover $300 because that is the value of the pet.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that insurance policies may only cover injuries to certain pets, like cats and dogs. Injuries to exotic animals, like birds or snakes may not be covered by insurance.
It is important to review your insurance policy to find out exactly what it says about coverage for pet injuries. You should not simply take the insurance company at its word. In fact, it is generally best to discuss the situation with a licensed attorney. Insurance companies often take advantage of crash victims who are seeking compensation.
What About Pet Insurance?
If you have a pet, you should strongly consider purchasing pet insurance, and not just in case you get into a crash with your pet in the car. Treatment from a veterinarian or animal hospital can be very expensive and you might not have access to several hundred dollars or more to pay for it.
Pet insurance not only covers the cost of treatment after an accident. It may also cover regular visits to the vet and management of chronic illnesses or other conditions your pet suffers from. For example, pet insurance may cover hereditary conditions that do not show symptoms at birth. If your dog is prone to ear infections, it can cost you thousands of dollars over the pet’s life. Pet insurance could make this treatment much more affordable.
Of course, as with any other insurance policy, there are limits to coverage and you will likely have a deductible. However, if your pet gets seriously injured, pet insurance may allow you to get your pet the treatment it needs to heal and potentially improve the pet’s quality of life.
Contact Phillips Law Group to Schedule a Free Consultation
While every car crash case is different, it is generally true that those who hire experienced attorneys recover more compensation compared to those who do not. There are many reasons for this, which you can discuss in a free consultation with an auto accident lawyer in Phoenix.
Phillips Law Group has been representing auto accident victims for nearly 30 years and we have helped numerous victims recover maximum compensation.
Free Consultation. No Upfront Fees. Call Today: 1-800-706-3000.