Many Florida drivers love to see a dog peeking out of a nearby car. However, some become anxious at the thought of their dog roaming their car without any safety restraints near an open window.
A survey co-sponsored by AAA found that 840 out of 1,000 drivers have taken their pets on a drive. Of the survey respondents, 64% had engaged in distracted driving behaviors including playing with their pets, giving their pets food or water, or driving while letting their pet sit on their laps. And any of those behaviors increase the risk of getting into a car accident.
Unfortunately, beloved pets cannot escape the horrors of a car accident and are subject to the same risks as Florida drivers. And what happens if your pet is injured in a car accident?
Are pets covered by personal injury insurance?
As cruel as it sounds, pets are often not covered by personal injury insurance as they’re considered property. That means your pet’s injuries are more likely to be covered under property damage insurance than auto insurance. However, some insurance providers do include pet injuries in collision coverage, so you must review your specific policy and ask your provider to clarify any coverage confusion.
If you do have pet injury or special injury protection under your collision insurance, it may be usable regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Similar to personal injury protection, these policies likely will have an expense cap.
If your pet isn’t covered by your auto insurance policy and the other driver was determined to be at fault, you likely can get your pet’s treatment expenses totally or partially covered by the other driver’s insurance provider as part of a compensation claim. Your claim will be affected if you were found to be at fault.
A Florida car accident lawyer will guide you through the nuances of what you can legally do if your pet is injured in a car accident.
Unfortunately, insurance providers will take time to investigate any claims and will do whatever they can to argue that you deserve less compensation. Depending on your pet’s injuries, you may not be able to wait for the insurance provider to complete their investigation. An experienced Florida car accident lawyer will know what options are available to you.
What if I have pet insurance?
Standard pet insurance covers routine vet costs and medications. It likely doesn’t extend to car accident injuries but there’s no harm in checking to be sure. When your pet’s life is at stake, it’s best to check all possible avenues to afford the care they need.
What if my pet was a service animal?
If your pet is considered a service or show animal, you may be entitled to more compensation as the loss or injury of your pet can affect your lifestyle, agency, and income. A seasoned Florida car accident lawyer knows how to handle such claims to build the strongest case possible for the compensation you and your pet need.
What to do at the scene of the car accident?
While at the scene of the wreck, check yourself and your pet to see if either of you sustained severe injuries. If you’re severely injured, call 911 and await further instruction from emergency medical personnel.
If your pet is severely injured, call the nearest emergency veterinarian practice or surgery center to alert them that you’re on your way. Do what you can to avoid moving your injured pet.
If your pet doesn’t seem severely injured, contact your vet and set an appointment for an immediate check-up. Your pet may be more injured than they appear externally, and some animals will attempt to hide any pain or suffering from you.
Once you’ve assured your pet’s safety, then you can move on to how to handle the other challenges of your pet being injured in a car accident. When it comes to what to do at the scene of a car accident, there are several steps you can take to strengthen your car accident lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer
Seeing your pet suffer is an emotionally exhausting and heartbreaking ordeal. Let a Florida car accident lawyer help so you can focus on your furry companion.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free car accident pet injury case evaluation.