The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles How to Drive with Pets Safely and Avoid a Car Accident

How to Drive with Pets Safely and Avoid a Car Accident

By Christopher Hoffmann  Sep. 20, 2018 8:16a

Many people enjoy traveling with their pet. Unfortunately, this can sometimes go wrong. The situation in which it does so most frequently iscar accidents, where pets are often much more vulnerable than humans. The worst possible outcome is an injury to both you and your pet. To avoid this, follow the safety tips we have listed below and educate yourself on the legality of a pet injury.

Top Safety Tips

Though there are many small things you can do to increase yours and your pet’s safety on the road, there are four that are the most critical.

Use a Seatbelt - Everybody knows that they should buckle up to increase their safety when they hit the road. What they don’t know is that they can do the same for their pet! To do so, search “pet seatbelt” online or visit a local pet store.

Purchase a Crate - Putting your pet in a crate does two things. First, it may make them less hyper and distracted, which helps you drive safer. Second, it provides protection in the case of a collision. These two factors combined make using a crate an effective method of pet protection.

Create a Barrier - One thing pets often do when in the car is take your eyes off of the road. This often happens when they come up to you looking for attention, rather than sitting down calmly. To avoid this, you can create a barrier between you and them.

Understand the Danger of Heat - Though it is not a typical car accident, overheating in cars is one of the top causes of death for pets. The reason is that cars act as greenhouses, which makes their interiors much hotter than the world outside. Because of this effect, you should try to never leave your pet in the car alone for more than a few minutes.

What to do if Your Pet Sustains an Injury

If your pet is injured in a car accident, you should tend to their health right away. If the injury is minor, that can mean basic first aid and very little treatment going forward. If it is severe, you should go to an emergency veterinarian for assistance.

Obtaining Compensation for an Injury

In Missouri, your pet is considered your personal property. That means that if it is injured, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills. The best way to find out is by talking to a St. Louis auto accident lawyer.

Obtaining Compensation for a Death

In the event of your pet dying, you may be entitled to compensation for how much your pet was worth. That unfortunately does not mean it's emotional worth to you. This means that if you rescued your dog and spent very little money on it, your benefits will likely be small. This compensation may only be substantial if your pet is highly successful in events like shows or racing.

Taking a pet in your car is a risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop. Instead, you can follow a few critical safety tips and vastly decrease the odds of injury for both you and them. Still, you may end up in an accident anyways. If this is the case, you should call a lawyer to discuss your options and ensure your legal rights are protected.

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