A pet might sustain injuries through another individual’s reckless, intentional or negligent actions, or even killed for certainly justifiable reasons. However, if your pet has been harmed or killed in such a way that can’t be legally or reasonably justified, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the individual who caused harm or death to your beloved pet.
Find out when you can and can’t hold a defendant legally responsible for compensation and the kinds of payment you can recover.
Negligent, Reckless and Intentional Pet Harm
However cold and unsympathetic it may seem, in the majority of states, pets are considered personal properties of their owners. As it is with other kinds of personal property, you can seek damages from defendants who have inflicted harm on your pet.
An intentionally caused injury will build a relatively straightforward claim unless the defendant can legally justify the deliberate action, like defending others or self-defense, that caused harm or death to your pet. If the defendant purposefully harmed or killed your pet, and you have substantial evidence to prove the deliberate actions of the defendant, then he might be liable for his acts.
A court can likewise find a defendant legally liable for your pet’s injury if he injured your pet through his reckless actions. In general, a reckless act is an act that a defendant must know or knows that would likely cause harm, but engages in the act regardless.
Also, you can hold a defendant legally responsible for your pet’s injuries if he acted in negligent ways that harmed your pet. Take note that negligent actions are very different from reckless or intentional acts since a negligent defendant didn’t necessarily know that his actions would result in harm – he was simply not as careful as he must’ve been.
As you can see, determining the whether the actions of the defendant are negligent, reckless, or intentional could be quite confusing, so you should work with a personal injury attorney here in Lynnwood if you’re looking to file a claim against the defendant.
Seeking Compensation for Your Pet’s Injury or Death
If the actions of the defendant were found to be negligent, you wouldn’t be able to recoup damages for pain and suffering and other emotional damages. But since your pet is your personal property, you can seek damages for your pet’s market value or worth as well as hospital and treatment costs if your pet survives.
But if the actions of the defendant were found to be reckless or intentional, there’s a chance that you could recoup damages for suffering and emotional pain. Essentially, if the defendant was fully aware that he could potentially harm or kill your pet, he’s deliberately causing you emotional distress.
Check Your State’s Animal Cruelty Laws
Majority of states have their own animal cruelty laws. That said, if you can successfully win your personal injury claim, you’ll be given compensation according to your state laws. So if you find that a person has killed or caused harm to your pet, consult a local personal injury attorney for more details.