Like so many of you, the staff at Patterson Legal Group loves our pets. According to a recent survey taken by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67% of U.S. households own at least one pet. That number is up by 58% since Americans were first asked about the members of their households in 1988. As valued companions, pets often travel with us in our cars. One question we’ve heard from many of our clients is, “Are car accident pet injuries covered by my car insurance?”
To help you and the pet lovers in your family understand issues with car insurance for pets, the car accident lawyers at Patterson Legal Group offer the following information.
Does Car Insurance Cover Car Accident Pet Injuries?
Although a variety of animals can be considered a pet, most car insurance companies will only cover dogs and cats. The owner of the dog or cat may file a property damage claim against the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. A property damage claim will include veterinary bills and funeral expenses. However, some car insurance policies have exclusions that prevent coverage.
Exceptions With Car Insurance for Pets
As previously mentioned, some car insurance companies will only cover dogs and cats. Exotic animals, such as reptiles, birds, and other pets are often excluded from coverage.
If the owner of the dog or cat is found at fault for the accident, then the owner is responsible for the cost of veterinary treatment and funeral costs. Some car insurance policies will compensate the owner regardless of who is at fault. However, those policies are extremely rare.
Additionally, car insurance companies will not pay for vet bills related to preexisting conditions that your dog or cat may suffer from. Lastly, while the mental anguish of the owner of the dog or cat that died in a car accident is generally not compensated by car insurance companies.
How Do I Protect My Pet While Driving?
Car accidents are unpredictable. No one wakes up in the morning believing that they will be in a car accident and have to deal with car accident pet injuries. However, it’s always best to be prepared. Below are a few common-sense steps you can take to keep your pet safe:
- Always restrain your dog or cat in a crate, harness, or pet seat belt while the car is in motion. A divider net between the front seats is also helpful to lessen driver distractions.
- Always make sure that you have activities or toys to distract your dog or cat while you’re driving. This will lower the odds of you being distracted by your pet and causing a car collision.
- Talk to your insurance agent to see if car insurance for pets is included in your policy or if it can be added.
- Look into obtaining standalone pet insurance.
Need Help Getting Compensation For Car Accident Pet Injuries?
With more than 75 years of combined experience representing injury victims in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming, Patterson Legal Group understands how difficult dealing with a car accident can be. This is especially true if your pet has been injured. If you’re having difficulty getting compensation for car accident pet injuries then give us a call immediately.
Patterson Legal Group understands how difficult insurance agents can be. More importantly, we know how to counter their underhanded tactics in order to get you the settlement that you deserve. Let us take care of all your legal needs so that you can focus on recovery and your pet’s health. Give us a call at (888) 687-2400 or contact us online through LiveChat and take the first step towards getting the money you deserve for your pet’s injuries.