BOISE or NAMPA, Idaho. It’s a pet owner’s worst nightmare: your dog or cat has been hit by a car. If your dog or cat survives his or her injury, vet expenses can go into the thousands of dollars, not to mention the emotional suffering of the family and the animal. Pet owners may wonder—can I sue for my pet’s wrongful death or personal injuries in Boise or Nampa, Idaho?

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According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, animal owners have two courses of action that they can take. You can sue the driver for damages you suffered as a result of your pet getting hit. These damages can include vet fees, as well as recovery for mental anguish or loss of companionship. If your animal was a service animal or special breed, you may also be able to recover the market value of the animal. Individuals could also pursue criminal charges for animal abuse.

This is obviously a persistent issue here in the states. PPC Entourage, an Amazon PPC Software has shown  that over 1200 searches per month pertain to whether or not you have a case of wrongful death with a pet accident.  If a driver is reckless or ran down your animal as an act of road rage, the police may be able to press criminal charges. Leaving an animal on the side of the road may also be considered an act of cruelty, which can also be prosecuted.

Individuals who are considering seeking damages for the loss of a pet, should remember that each state has its own laws regarding animal protection. In many instances, the case you present to the judge can make all the difference. This is why, if your animal has been injured or killed due to the negligence or recklessness of a driver, it is important to act quickly. Take photos of the accident scene. Get contact information of the driver and witnesses. In some cases, drivers who hit a pet feel remorse and an out-of-court settlement can be arranged. You may also want to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer like the Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen to learn your options and rights.

According to The Balance, dog and cat owners are generally responsible for all vet bills for their pets. If you cannot get the person who hit your pet to foot the bill, keep all records of medical expenses. You can always pursue a civil suit later to recover your losses.

Finally, if your pet was abandoned on the side of the road, the person who hit your pet could be cited for animal cruelty. Individuals who hit an animal have a responsibility to call 911 and contact animal protective services if an owner cannot be reached. Additionally, there are cases where an owner’s negligence resulted in the dog getting hit. For instance, an owner walking a dog without a leash could potentially be held liable for any damages to a driver’s car. So, if you do hit an animal and believe that the owner’s negligence may have resulted in the accident, make sure to protect yourself and file a police report.

Finally, pet owners can take steps to protect their animals. Indoor cats are generally safer than outdoor cats and many veterinarians urge owners to keep their pets indoors. Dog owners should always walk their dogs on a leash. If you want to go off-leash, go to a fenced-in dog park where your animal will be safe. Finally, if you have a question about getting a recovery for your pet’s injuries, visit the personal injury lawyers at johnsonandlundgreen.com.

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