For many Houstonians, the family dog is truly part of the family. Many neighborhoods house families who love their dogs and walk them every day. Of course, if you walk your dog in a residential neighborhood that has street traffic, you run the risk of an accident that leaves your dog injured or killed.
Personal injury or wrongful death suits are not limited strictly to humans, as the court does recognize that our relationships with our pets are a fundamental part of our lives. However, such a suit is not always simple to resolve.
If your family dog has suffered an injury or died in a car accident, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced, empathetic attorney who understands how valuable your dog is to you and your family. Proper legal guidance can help you understand the nuances of your situation and how the law may favor your loss.
Personal injury suits for animals require special attention
In a traditional personal injury suit with a human victim, determining damages often includes calculation of lost wages and potential earnings, as well as the costs involved in treating injuries.
However, unless your dog participates in your income, determining appropriate damages can be more difficult.
Some of the losses are straightforward to calculate. If a car hits your dog while you are out walking, she may suffer broken legs and internal injuries that require extensive surgeries.
One can quantify some of these costs by examining your bills. Any surgeries and therapy to help your dog regain her ability to walk and function normally will have associated costs, which you can claim as losses.
The recovery may also impose additional costs for ongoing medications or new dietary needs to promote healing.
Many judges also recognize that a dog is a special kind of companion, one who offers specific comfort. While the emotional losses of an injured or killed animal are difficult to quantify, the court does regularly reward some emotional damages to owners to fairly compensate for the suffering they endured during their dog's recovery or in the wake of losing the pet.
You don't have to carry the burden alone
Dealing with the injury or death of a pet can be a heavier burden than many owners realize until it happens to them. This is especially true if the injury or death occurs in a shocking manner, like a car accident.
The good news is that you need not carry that burden all alone. An experienced, empathetic attorney can help you evaluate the situation and create a plan for recovering from this harsh loss.
Proper, professional legal counsel can help protect your rights, and the rights of the dog you love.