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Travelling with Pets: What to do in the event of a car accident

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Do you travel a lot accompanied by your dog? If so, have you considered the fact that you might be involved in a motor vehicle accident when your pet is in the car with you?

 As an aside, your pet might even be a medical support dog. However, the reasons for travelling accompanied by your dog are secondary to the harsh reality that you might be involved in a motor vehicle accident, if even if it is not your fault. Therefore, the questions that need to be asked and answered are:

  • How do you protect your dog from injury while travelling?
  • What do you do straight after an accident?

Let’s answer these questions one at a time in the following manner:

Protecting your pet from injury while traveling

Vehicle restraining harness

The most important point is to buy a car harness (akin to a seat belt) that you can use to secure your dog by attaching the harness to the seat belt. There are different models and brands so shop around for a harness that will fit your pet without hurting it. The reality is that an unrestrained dog becomes a projectile in a moving car, even while driving to your destination.

Pack a travel kit

It is equally important to pack a bag consisting of the supplies that you might need along the road. This travel kit needs to include a basic first aid kit, food, bottled water, plastic bags, poop-scoop, collar and leash, food, and travel documents should they be required.

Stop frequently

It’s a good idea to stop every two hours or so to allow your dog to stretch, use the grass, and have a drink of water. Make sure, however, that when you stop, it is in an area where it is safe for you and your dog to walk around. And, make sure you never let the dog out the car without a collar and leash.

Ensuring your dog’s wellbeing straight after an accident

Stop the vehicle

Once the vehicle has stopped, determine whether you are physically able to get out of the car. You might be trapped in the car or too injured to move. It is very easy for pet lovers to take care of their pets before themselves. However, if you don’t make sure that you are able to move first, you will not be able to take care of your pet.

Once you are out of the car, the next step is to check on your pet. Bear in mind that as you will more than likely be in shock, so will your pet. Therefore, move calmly, speaking gently to your dog while clipping the leash onto its collar. Confirm whether your dog can climb out of the car itself, or whether it needs assistance.

Consult an attorney

The aftermath of an accident, no matter how minor, always brings with it a raft of legal processes. For example, you need to report the accident to your vehicle insurance company and the police. Both you and your pet will more than likely need ongoing medical treatment. And, there is a strong likelihood that you will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, instead of trying to do everything yourself, hire a car accident attorney in Toledo to manage all of the legal processes on your behalf.

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