A beloved pet can be like a member of the family. They are an endless source of daily comfort, entertainment, and even emotional support for millions of Americans, and the death of a beloved cat or dog can be as traumatizing as the loss of a relative or close friend.
Unfortunately, as deep as the bond between humans and their pets might be, the law has traditionally treated them as simple property. This means that the only compensation that can usually be sought in the wrongful death of a pet with any sense of certainty concerns the sheer monetary value of the animal – in other words, the more someone paid for his or her pet, the more value to law assigns to it. The kind of emotional damages typically cited in the wrongful death of a human, such as loss of companionship or mental pain and suffering are therefore nearly impossible to assert.
While a legal distinction must exist between humans and animals, such an inflexible adherence to this “market value” approach is both cruel and unrealistic. More and more states are beginning to recognize that the wrongful death or injury of a pet due to another’s negligent actions is more than property loss, and that the value of the pet to the owner, more than the coldly calculated market value, should be the true measure of worth.
Claims of compensation for the wrongful death or injury of pets rely upon proving a number of criteria, from direct observation of the event to establishing casual relation between the pet’s death and measurable effects in the owner. If you have lost a loyal companion due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you deserve a legal representative who will aggressively fight for you. Contact the Sheboygan pet injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (920) 459-8000 for more information.