Many Louisiana residents have pets that love to ride along with their owners when it is time to make a run somewhere. Whether it is going to the park for some exercise or just a bit of joyriding, many animals love an adventure in a vehicle. The problem is, when they see something that sparks their interest, they typically get right in the middle of the action or invoke the action themselves. This is especially true of dogs with a curious nature.
But, what happens when the owner behind the wheel is involved in a motor vehicle crash? The truth is that having an unrestrained animal in the vehicle can sometimes complicate an injury claim.
Distracted driving scenarios in Louisiana
One of the primary elements of motor vehicle crash evaluation is the amount of distraction occurring in each vehicle at the time of the collision. Distracted driving involves many more factors than just cell phone usage or listening to loud music. Animals roaming around in a vehicle can also be a distraction for the driver as well.
Absence of a restraining law
Although Louisiana is not a state that requires that animals be restrained while riding, the fact they are in the vehicle can impact the final determination of fault if a case goes to court.
Comparative fault in Louisiana
Louisiana is one of the states that uses pure comparative fault when determining the amount an injured person should be awarded. This means that the total amount of damages will be reduced by the percentage the injured person is found to be at fault for causing the crash. Having an unrestrained animal in a vehicle involved in a motor vehicle crash can increase this percentage significantly.