Many people enjoy having a pet and consider them a member of their family. However, if they are involved in a car accident while their animal is in their car, they may not be the only victim. Their pet could also suffer serious injuries or be killed.
If a negligent driver caused the auto collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering under Virginia law. You may also be able to obtain damages for your pet if they were hurt or died due to their injuries in the crash.
Types of Compensation You Can Recover for Pets in Car Accident Cases
Like many other states, pets are considered personal property in Virginia. This limits the types of compensation you can recover when your pet is a victim of your auto collision.
If your pet was injured, you would be entitled to be reimbursed for their veterinary bills. They must be considered reasonable medical expenses needed to treat their injuries. What is considered reasonable would depend on your pet’s age and health.
You could recover the value of your pet if they were killed in the crash. The fair market value of your pet may be determined in one of these ways:
- Fair market value. The fair market value of your pet would be based on how much you could obtain if you sold them. Their breed, pedigree, health, age, and the purchase price would be factors considered in determining their fair market value.
- Replacement cost. Another way your damages could be calculated would be based on how much it would cost you to replace your pet. This amount can be higher than if your compensation is based on the fair market value of your pet.
- Special economic value. If your pet was a service animal, was used for breeding, or had other specialized training, you may be entitled to additional compensation that takes into account the special services your pet provides to you.
Are You Entitled to Pain and Suffering Damages?
Although it can be very traumatic to watch your pet suffer from injuries or to deal with the grief of their death, you are not entitled to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced. This is because pets are considered personal property in our state.
Were you or a family member injured in an auto collision caused by a negligent driver? You need an experienced car accident lawyer who will fight for your right to compensation for your injuries. To learn about our track record of success in representing victims of car crashes and how we can assist you, fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.