Road Accidents and Your Pet: Everything You Need to Know About Your Pet and a Motor Vehicle Accident

Do you travel with your beloved pet, such as a dog, in the car? If so, have you considered what will happen to your dog should you end up in a road accident? In a worst-case scenario, both you and your pet could be seriously even fatally injured. Therefore, it’s essential to put measures into place in case either if you or your pet are seriously injured to the point of the loss of life before the accident occurs.

The obvious question that begs is, why should you worry about serious road accidents when they haven’t happened? Isn’t that tempting fate? 

The succinct answer to this question is that it is essential to make these arrangements if the risk of being involved in a road accident is greater than 0%. Statistics show that the US traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 residents every year. This translates into 0.012% of being killed in a road accident on US roads. 

An additional 4.4 million people are seriously injured in road accidents every year. Therefore, there is a 1.33% chance of being injured in a road accident every time you get into your car and drive on public roads. While these figures look quite good, they are overall figures for the whole of the USA. The actual percentages change depending on what state you live in.

Therefore, let’s consider a brief list of measures to put into place to protect both you and your pet in the event of a motor vehicle accident. 

Crate or secure your pet in the car 

It’s an imperative that your pet is not loose in the car. It’s best to crate your dog or use a special seat belt harness to make sure that your dog cannot get out of the car and run away in the event of an accident. Your pet will get frightened at the point of impact and will either run away or injure themselves further, trying to get away from the people helping at the accident scene.

Claim for the cost of medical bills 

The state of Nevada has a special law that allows you as a pet owner to file a claim against the person responsible for the accident if your pet is injured or killed during the crash. There are, however, limitations to receiving compensation when pets are hurt in a car accident.

Some of these limits include: 

  • This law is only applicable to domestic dogs and cats that live at home with you. It does not include any other domestic pet like birds, rabbits, or other exotic animals.
  • Compensation for emotional pain and suffering is not included. 
  • The maximum amount that will be paid out is $5000. And, it will only cover vets’ bills, burial costs, and market value compensation if the animal is killed.

Final thoughts 

Being involved in a road accident is extremely traumatic for everyone involved in the accident. However, trauma and stress levels can be substantially higher if a beloved four-legged companion is injured or killed in the accident. Therefore, it is essential to contact a legal expert to discuss claiming for both yourself, your passengers, and your pets.