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I am located in champaign county in St Paris Ohio. A UPS…

I am located in...

I am located in champaign county in St Paris Ohio. A UPS driver backed over our 12-yer old pure bred ShihTzu and killed it. The insurance cover states we are only going to get the money it will take to buy a 12 year old male Shih Tzu. I have seen cases in Ohio where you get replacement by the purchase of a puppy and money for the loss of companionship. I am a veteran with PTSD and have suffered great loss of companionship to deal with my PTSD. What is the real recovery that should be expected? Getting a 12 year old dog would not be acceptable because there is no way to know the issues with an older dog that a family is trying to get rid of and there is the issue of bonding with a puppy that may never happen with an old dog.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to an Ohio lawyer about this?

I ca't find a lawyer who practices in loss animals. I went to the local bar association and have not had anyone respond.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

After engaging with corporate UPS I was refered to Liberty Mutual where I sent a statement to purchase a Shih Tzu puppy, which I was directed to do at the beginning, and sent his medical records to the insurance company. It was only yesterday I spoke to a Liberty Mutual representative stating they would only pay to buy a 12-year old dog and does not cover the loss of companionship or any other distress caused by the loss. I have researched an believe I saw cases in Ohio where the dog is replaced and there was additional money for the loss of companionship.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

That is pretty much everything. I want the money to purchase a pure bred puppy, approximately $4,200 and I want to be compensated for losing the only thing that could reach into me when I have depressive attacks.

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Answered in 8 minutes by:
2/13/2018
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 103,212
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. (You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.)

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please understand how this works. Once someone hits you and they have insurance, the insurance is liable for the judgment that you'd get against the driver if you sue them (in limited amount, but usually pretty high). Ergo, to avoid paying out huge sums from a judgment where their driver is likely responsible, the insurance company likes to settle the claim to avoid litigation. Once an agreement is reached, you sign a release and waive your rights to sue in exchange for the payout.

But, how does one reach that settlement? The insurance adjuster. The adjuster's job is to minimize the payment they pay you. So of course they are going to try to equate the dog with an "equal" dog. Like a vehicle. If one goes to court, then they are likely to get more.

Someone in your situation may wish to get an attorney.

An attorney usually cuts through this malarkey since the adjuster knows counsel does not put up with this and WILL file suit if needed (whereas here, they do not see you as much of a threat without an attorney since you filing or winning a suit without counsel is unlikely). Then a settlement is usually reached. The attorney should take this on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid unless you do. Usual set up is their take is 33% settlement, 40% win at trial, 45% at appeal; plus some office costs. Everything is negotiable.

"I STRIVE FOR FIVE!" My goal is to answer your question to your satisfaction. Please rate with five stars (★★★★★) and click SEND. It does not cost anything extra to rate. You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars. Rating my answer the bottom two stars or failing to submit the rating reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. If you are not satisfied for whatever reason, or, have follow up questions, please simply reply with SEND before or after rating and let's continue to chat until you are satisfied. This is what I am here for.

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Customer reply replied 10 days ago
if the insurance company says they only consider the dog property, does that mean there is no legal route to take to hold UPS accountable for the los of companionship? It seems to me they are going to low ball me saying a 12 year ld dog can be purchased for say $700 and will not even entertain the loss of companionship. It seems like to me if the insurance company won't cover it I have to sue the driver, local distribution point, and UPS as a company.

So if the insurance company says they only consider the dog property, does that mean there is no legal route to take to hold UPS accountable for the los of companionship?

No... that is not what I said at all. Actually, just the opposite. An attorney usually cuts through this malarkey since the adjuster knows counsel does not put up with this and WILL file suit if needed (whereas here, they do not see you as much of a threat without an attorney since you filing or winning a suit without counsel is unlikely). In other words, you do not have to agree to their settlement and can take chances at Court, wherein a Judge or Jury can award a higher amount.

So yes, they are low-balling you. It is their job. If the negotiations stall to a point where they simply are not being considerate, one should consider filing suit.

Kind Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or please rate positively and click SEND to submit your rating once satisfied. You may always ask follow ups at no charge before or after rating. "I STRIVE FOR FIVE!"

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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