In Maryland, a pet owner may recover damages when their dog, cat, or other household pet is injured. Maryland Courts & Judicial Article section 11-110 provides that a pet owner may recover the fair market value of the pet and the cost of reasonable and necessary veterinary care for the death of the pet, but the amount is capped at $10,000. When a pet is injured, the pet owner may recover up to $10,000 for the cost of reasonable and necessary veterinary care.
The problem with the $10,000 cap on damages is two-fold. Veterinary treatment can easily exceed the $10,000 cap. In one of my cases, the veterinary expenses for repairing a dog’s broken jaw exceeded $12,000. If you are claiming that your veterinarian committed malpractice in treating your dog, cat, or other household pet, the cost of retaining an expert witness to testify that your veterinarian breached the standard of care could also exceed $10,000.
I am advocating that the $10,000 cap on damages to household pets in Maryland be raised to $15,000. Veterinarians and their insurance carriers oppose raising the $10,000 cap on damages to pets in Maryland.
Update: The prior cap of $7,500 in damages was raised to $10,000 on October 1, 2017.