When your pet is killed through another's negligence, you do have legal options for recovering compensation for its death. Although it is impossible to assign a monetary value to your pet's life, you can receive compensation for damages, such as emotional distress and loss of companionship. If your pet was killed, here is what you need to know.
What Should You Do Immediately After Your Pet's Death?
Although it might be difficult to focus on taking legal action after your pet's death, it is important that you begin to collect evidence as soon as possible. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that you will be able to successfully win compensation for your loss.
If you have any pictures of your pet when it was killed, they can help show the location of the accident and potentially help counter any incorrect statements made by the responsible person. You also need to get contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. If the responsible party behaved in a negative manner or admitted to harming your pet, witnesses can help attest to this.
If you contacted the police, obtain a copy of the police report. The police report will contain statements from witness and also contact information for the responsible party.
In addition to this evidence, you will need to have your pet examined by a veterinarian. He or she can provide you with a detailed report that determines the cause of death. The report can help counter an argument by the responsible party that the pet died by some other means.
Can You File a Lawsuit?
A lawsuit is an option, but you should start by attempting to settle the matter with the responsible party. He or she might be willing to negotiate a fair settlement that will allow you and your family to move on.
If the responsible party is unwilling to take responsibility, your next step depends on the location of the accident and whether or not a vehicle was involved.
If the accident occurred on the property of the responsible party, you can file a claim with his or her homeowners insurance provider. Your attorney can write a demand letter asking for compensation and provide evidence to backup your claims.
You can also contact the insurance company if the responsible party hit your pet with a car. The police report will have insurance information for the driver listed.
If none of these circumstances occurred, you can file a lawsuit against the other party. Contact a personal injury attorney to learn more.