Driver Hit My Dog and Left the Scene...

by Barbara
(Albuquerque, NM)

My dog was hit by a car. I got the license plate number, make and model of the car. I also have 3 witnesses who saw my dog get hit. The driver of the car left the scene. She didn't even stop to ask what happened.

Am I able to get the driver of the car to pay the veterinarian bills?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Driver Hit My Dog and Left the Scene...":

Barbara (Albuquerque, NM):

Yes, the at-fault driver should be responsible for your dog’s injuries and resultant medical bills. Contact the driver and explain what happened. The driver probably knows she hit the animal. When you call the driver ask her for her insurance information. Once you have the information contact the insurance company and file a claim. When you contact the insurance company they will assign a Claims Adjuster to your case.

It will probably be a matter of several days or more before the Adjuster gets back to you. That’s pretty standard. When contacted she will probably ask you for your recorded telephonic statement. That’s also perfectly acceptable and customary in the insurance business.

The Adjuster will also take the driver’s statement. Once the adjuster completes her investigation she will decided whether the insurance company will accept liability. If they do, your dog’s veterinarian bills should be paid in full.

Be sure to ask the adjuster to include an amount for your out of pocket expenses. They might include any aids you were required to purchase to help your dog with his recovery.

Although there isn’t any law which says the insurance company has to pay you for your dog’s or your pain and suffering, it wouldn’t hurt to ask the adjuster to add an additional amount for the emotional stress you suffered. It is doubtful she will agree, but you can at least ask.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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