When your beloved pet joins you on a road trip, they get to enjoy new sights and sounds, but they’re also at risk of being injured in a collision, just like you are. Even if you secure your pet in a safety belt or crate, a car accident can endanger them. Do you know what to do if your pet is injured in a car accident? Scroll down to find out.
Steps to Take if Your Pet Is Injured in a Car Crash
Many people are familiar with the steps to take if they or another human is injured in a motor vehicle collision. However, you might not know what to do if your pet is injured in a car accident. Just like you should take specific steps to protect yourself after a crash caused by someone else, you should also do certain things to protect your injured pet.
Stay Calm and Check for Injuries
Immediately after your crash, check yourself, other passengers, and your pet for injuries. For yourself and other people, look for visible injuries, bleeding, or signs of disorientation. For your pet, look for physical injuries but also listen for any sounds that your pet is in pain, including growling, whimpering, hissing, or crying. During this time, stay as calm as possible to prevent your pet from experiencing additional stress in reaction to your emotional state.
Even if your pet is normally well-behaved, it might lash out because of fear. Make sure to be careful while checking your pet for injuries. Talk to your pet in a soft, encouraging voice. To keep your pet safe, cover it with a blanket and make sure its leash is attached. A scared and injured pet could run away and incur additional injuries.
Report Your Accident
Right after your accident, call 911 to summon the police to your accident scene. Tell the dispatcher the location, the makes and models of each vehicle involved, and whether anyone has been injured. Stay at the scene of the accident until help arrives. While you are waiting, document the accident scene by taking pictures with your smartphone. Attend to your pet to keep them safe and calm.
Take Your Pet to the Vet
Even if you aren’t sure your pet has been injured, you should still take them to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. Similar to people, animals can suffer injuries that might have delayed symptoms but could be serious. You should also go to the doctor to get yourself checked out to make sure you receive any treatment you might need.
File a Claim
When your pet is injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you can file a claim to recover damages. Pets are classified as personal property in Missouri. When you file an insurance claim after your accident, this means you will also be able to pursue compensation for the veterinary bills and other expenses you incurred because of the other driver’s negligence. Since Missouri is a fault state for car accident claims, you will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
What Damages Are Recoverable?
The damages you might recover for your accident will depend on several factors, including whether the other driver was solely at fault, whether you shared liability, the extent of your injuries, the losses you suffered, and the extent and nature of your pet’s injuries. Some of the types of damages you might recover include the following:
- Your past and future medical expenses for your injuries
- Any income losses you suffered because of your accident and injuries
- Damage to your car
- Your pet’s current and future expected veterinary bills caused by its injuries
- Cost of a new pet if your pet died
- Your physical pain and suffering
- Your emotional distress
- Other damages
Your attorney can review your case and explain the types of damages that might be available.
Consult a Car Accident Attorney
If you and your pet were injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you might be entitled to compensation. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave today to learn about your rights. Call us for a free case evaluation at 417-322-2222 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!