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The Law and Pet Injuries

By Farhan Naqvi, Personal Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas

Clark County is home to thousands (millions?) of pet owners. Those of us who have a dog, cat, or other animal at home really treasure the things they offer us. These pets are a source of pride and enjoyment, and they give us unconditional love. They enrich our lives in so many ways that we adore and cherish our pets almost as much as we do our children.

Unfortunately, the law doesn’t see pets the way we do. The law classifies animals as simple property.

Therefore, if your pet is hurt or killed by the actions or negligence of someone else, you won’t be able to seek much (if any) monetary relief from the civil court system through some type of personal injury lawsuit. That’s because the law does not take into account all the value that your pet adds to your quality of life. It only views your animal in terms of how much money it is worth (which is usually no more than any price you paid to acquire it).

There may be a few exceptions to this rule. You may find it worthwhile to seek compensation for a pet that was killed or injured if the animal is/was:

  • A working part of your business (like a sheepdog on a farm)
  • A service animal (like a seeing-eyed dog)
  • A prizewinning animal (like a show dog or blue-ribbon steer) that has provided or could have provided you with significant provable income
  • A rare breed or species (like a type of bird that is close to extinction) which is valuable because of its scarcit. 

When a pet dies or gets hurt, the grief and anguish we feel is as real as that we experience when a human is injured or killed. But unfortunately, relief cannot usually be provided by the civil court system.

About the Editor: Farhan R. Naqvi is a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer who has experience representing victims injured in car accidents, drunk driver crashes, truck wrecks, slip and falls, taxi cab accidents, and bicycle crashes. He also has experience handling spine injury, product liability, underinsured/uninsured driver, and wrongful death cases. If you’ve been seriously hurt in an accident in Summerlin, North Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, Boulder City, Green Valley, or Pahrump, give Farhan a call at 702-553-1000 for a free, no-hassle consultation.