MERIDIAN, Mississippi. For many of us, our pets are family. The loss of a pet can have a real emotional toll on pet parents. This has left some pet owners wondering whether they have the right to sue if their pet is killed in a car accident. What does the law say?
The Washington Post recently reported on a case where a woman sued a boarding facility after her dog died while in the facility’s care. The woman who left her dog in the boarding facility’s care claims that the facility was negligent in keeping her dog inside an enclosure with a much larger dog. When it comes to lawsuits involving animals, animals are often treated as property. This means that the courts will generally reimburse owners for the cost of the animal and any medical expenses they may have had after the animal was injured. Yet, the woman who left her dog in the care of the facility wants the courts to recognize that animals are much more than property. She wants the courts to recognize the emotional bond she shared with her pet. Yet, the woman is unlikely to receive the six-figure settlement she seeks.
Animal owners can receive large settlements for the death of an animal, but these settlements usually follow when a person intentionally kills an animal. The Washington Post noted that animal owners, for example, can receive significant settlements if police kill the family pet during a home raid, for example.
The loss of a pet can be incredibly challenging for pet owners. Unfortunately, society doesn’t always recognize the loss of a pet as legitimate grief. If a family member dies, employers generally give workers time off. When a pet dies, not all workplaces tend to be sympathetic. According to Scientific American, the grief following the loss of a pet can last up to one year. Sometimes individuals may have trouble keeping up with work. Unfortunately, there aren’t many mechanisms to protect individuals when this happens. Unlike the loss of a human loved one, people who have lost pets don’t always enjoy the same community emotional support structures available to say, widows or widowers or to children who have lost a parent.
To make matters worse, when people feel guilty about grieving a pet, it can make the grieving process take even longer. According to Scientific American, after we lose a pet, it can be helpful to seek social support and consider the changes losing our pet has made in our lives.
The reality is that until our workplaces, courts, and other social structures start to see pets as family, individuals who suffer the loss of a pet due to accidents or negligence will continue to struggle. Ballard Law, P.L.L.C. are personal injury lawyers in Meridian, Mississippi. Our firm understands how important pets are to pet parents. If your pet was hurt in a recent crash and you had to pay medical expenses out of pocket, consider reaching out to Ballard Law today. Our attorneys may be able to help you.

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