Damages for Death or Injury of an Animal
No one wants to think about their animal companion being killed or hurt. But if this happens, you may be able to recover “damages,” or monetary redress.
This is a broad overview intended to be useful to caregivers of animals who have been injured or killed. It is not a substitute for an attorney.
The amount you can receive will vary depending on a number of factors. The particular facts and circumstances of your case are important. Additionally, the law regarding compensation for a companion animal’s death or injury varies from state to state, and is in flux.
Here are some basics:
- By and large animals are considered “property” under the law. This means that in many cases, you are limited to compensation for your animal’s “market value,” along with associated “economic damages” like veterinary bills.
- In recognition of animals’ elevated places in our homes and lives, a growing number of states now also allow greater awards than economic damages. In these states — including Tennessee, Illinois and New York — you may also be able to receive noneconomic and punitive damages in some cases, such as if the person who harmed your animal did so on purpose.
- Damages relating to emotional distress are sometimes available as well.
Your lawyer can best advise you as to the law in your state, regarding compensation for an injured or killed companion animal.
On April 24, 2018, Governor Larry Hogan signed into law HB 1662, the “No More Puppy-Mill Pups Act of 2018,” making Maryland the second state to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats obtained from commercial breeding facilities.August 15, 2018 Animal Law Update
The Lewis & Clark Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter had a busy semester in spring 2018, holding three big events: its annual Animal Law Networking event, the Food Law Symposium, and its MeatOut BBQ.August 14, 2018 Student Chapter Spotlight
Reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsibleAugust 13, 2018 Press Release