Can I Be Compensated If My Dog Is Injured or Killed?

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Can I Be Compensated If My Dog Is Injured or Killed?

When a dog is injured by the negligent or intentional actions of another, then the owner can bring a legal action to recover for veterinary bills and other damages.

If a dog is killed, most courts allow dog owners to recover the market value of the pet. Depending on the jurisdiction, the value may be measured based on the cost of treatment, market value of replacement, sentimental value, emotional distress and punitive damages.

Veterinary Bills

Veterinary bills can be very expensive. If you bring a legal action to recover for your dog’s injuries, you can negotiate a reasonable amount for his dog’s treatment. The treatment amount will be limited to the associated cost of the injury only.

Market or Replacement Value

If the dog was killed, then the owner may be able to recover the current market value of the dog or the replacement value. Market value is the amount that the dog owner could get if he sold the dog on the day of the accident. Market value factors in the dog’s age, health, breed, training, and special traits. However, since not all dogs have a market value, the owner may obtain the value to replace the dog (i.e. to adopt another dog or to purchase another dog from a breeder).

Sentimental Value

Sentimental value is rarely awarded. But courts have awarded this in cases where the person intentionally killed the dog knowing that there was peculiar value to the owner. Such peculiar sentimental value may be that the owner depends on the dog to alleviate his social anxiety or that the dog is his only friend.

Emotional Distress

Obtaining emotional distress is not easy. Emotional distress is generally only awarded where the owner saw the injury to his dog, and as a result, he is suffering so much mental anguish that it is causing him physical pains and requires medical treatment.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages is almost never awarded because the court only wants to replace the economic value of the dog to the owner. But for egregious cases where the person intentionally or recklessly killed, then the court will consider punishing him. An example of such egregious behavior includes a dog shelter picking up a dog on streets and killing it before waiting for a necessary recovery period.

Consulting a Lawyer

If your dog has been injured or killed, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to recover damages.

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Last Modified: 05-28-2015 12:02 PM PDT

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