On average, statistics indicate that a staggering 800 000 Americans receive medical treatment for dog bites each year. And with a large number of household pets in the United States, it’s no wonder dog bite cases are prevalent. However, the problem is not specific to America, as dog bite cases are prominent worldwide.
With that said, being the victim of a dog bite instance is understandably traumatizing; even if you consider yourself an understanding dog lover, a dog attack can leave you disfigured and in recovery for quite some time.
Suppose you have experienced a dog bite incident, and you are prepared to claim compensation from the dogs’ owner or even an insurer that covers you for personal injury situations. In that case, you might be wondering what damages you can recover. So we have listed the compensation details to ensure you can recover all your damages from the unfortunate experience.
Even if you have health insurance to cover the costs of the required medical care after the dog bite, you will still be entitled to claim compensation for the total spent on treatments and any medication you may have to take, such as antibiotics to prevent infections. Your medical insurance may not cover every cent of your bills for the incident, and if you are insured with a cover that allows you medical savings, you will still lose financially from the incident.
In cases of minor dog bites, you may only need to have stitches, antibiotic treatments, and some pain killers. However, if the dog attack was severe, you may need surgery, which can cost a fortune. In other cases, dog bite victims need cosmetic surgery as the attack left the victim with disfiguring facial scars.
Unfortunately, some medical insurance companies will not pay for cosmetic surgery, even if the disfiguration is life-altering and can impact mental and emotional wellbeing. Regardless of your medical treatment needs, you will be able to recover your costs with the help of Lamber Goodnow injury lawyers or other expert injury lawyers in your local jurisdiction.
Pain And Suffering/Emotional Distress
Pain and suffering or emotional distress damages in a personal injury lawsuit is the emotional turmoil that results from the incident.
And while claiming for emotional distress is usually a bit challenging, as proving emotional harm is significantly more complex than proving physical harm, pain and suffering compensation is prevalent in dog bite claims. Because being attacked by a dog is undeniably traumatic, you will have a high chance of receiving compensation for damages that result from this.
More often than not, a psychologist will need to be assessed to prove your emotional distress and the impact that it now has on your daily life. You may need medications to ease your trauma symptoms, and your compensation claim can also include these costs.
However, emotional distress damages extend further than psychology session costs and medication needs, as you will also be compensated for the impact your emotional state has on your daily life. It can be hard to put a price tag on your emotional wellbeing, which is why you should opt to have an injury lawyer assess your case and determine what amount you are entitled to by law.
An injury lawyer will be able to decide on the reasonable value of this damage best. Avoiding legal representation and estimating a too high cost on your own can put your claim in jeopardy. What’s more, asking for too little is also not the best idea.
Loss Of Income
If the dog bite incident has left you unable to attend work as you should, you can claim compensation for loss of income. All you will need is a letter from your employer and your medical records to prove your time away from work.
In more complex cases where you cannot work for extended periods, you will need a legal expert to prove your inability to return to work, especially if the emotional scarring caused by disfigurement is why you feel unable to return to work.
In cases where the dog has been declared vicious or dangerous, such as cases where the dog has previously attacked an individual or the specifics of the dogs’ breed renders it a danger, you might be entitled to multiple damages.
In these cases, the dog owner will have to pay double, and sometimes even triple to compensation as their pet has already been declared a danger and has not taken the necessary measures to prevent the dog from attacking again.
Punitive damages or somewhat similar to multiple damages, and explain situations where the dog owners allow a dog that has been declared a danger to run loose. If this is the case, you can claim punitive damages as the owner is not just responsible for the attack but also reckless in caring for their pet.
You will need to prove that the dog often runs loose, and you can provide video footage or photographs of the dog running loose in the area as valid evidence to strengthen your claim for punitive damages.
Loss Of Consortium
In some cases, dog attacks impact the relationship between the victim and their spouse. In other cases, the victim may be a child whose relationship is hindered with their parent due to the attack. These instances are considered damages, and you can claim compensation for this in some states.
Regardless of how minor the attack was, it would be best if you always claimed compensation from the dog owner that attacked you. If not to reclaim your damages, you should take action against the owner to ensure the dog in question is deemed a danger, as this could potentially prevent the dog from attacking someone else, and the attack may be even more severe.
In some states, dogs that are deemed a danger are euthanized to prevent further instances. Even if you adore animals, you should never prioritize a vicious dog over your wellbeing or that of the following potential victim, who could be a small child that is left traumatized and disfigured for life.