Burlington, VT asked in Personal Injury for Vermont

Q: I was walking my dog and and we both got knocked down by a cyclist -- will the insurer pay for my pet's vet bills?

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3 Lawyer Answers
David Alan Wolf

A: The payment of medical bills will depend on the available coverage and the liability or fault for the incident or accident. The bicyclist may take the position that he or she was not at fault. If there was a police report, this may help clarify how the accident took place and how the insurance company will handle the claim. Good luck.

Mr. Michael John Gannon agrees with this answer

Mr. Michael John Gannon
Mr. Michael John Gannon
  • Essex Junction, VT
  • Licensed in Vermont

A: Initially, your question doesn't mention which insurance company. If the cyclist has insurance, that company may elect to pay veterinary bills but it's far from certain it will agree to do so. The company may take the position that you were wholly or partially to blame for the accident. It's impossible to predict whether it would do so because there isn't any information provided about the accident. Even if the accident was entirely the cyclist's fault, you may find that the insurance company only wants to enter into a final settlement. In other words, the company likely won't want to pay for vet bills unless it is able to resolve all potential claims.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing

A: Many bicylists don't have insurance so don't count on that. You can sue them in small claims if they don't, but only your insurance is obligated to pay for bills as they are incurred.

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