We usually think of dogs as friendly, tame companions, or even (like myself) as members of our family. Most of the time, they are! Occasionally however, dog owners fail to properly train or control their animals. Untrained dogs can cause serious damage to others by attacking and biting. It is a truly scary experience to be bitten by an out-of-control animal, and the medical consequences can be disastrous.
The owners of these dogs can and should be held liable for the damages they have caused. If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite, you might be considering legal action and wondering how much your case is worth. There are many factors to consider when estimating the value of a dog bite case.
Factors That Will Influence Your Compensation Total
As with all personal injury cases, there is no simple formula to calculate the value of your case. The eventual sum can be influenced by the following factors, among others:
- The extent of your injury. If you need plastic surgery or any other operations to treat the site of the bite, you have significant medical costs that ought to be covered by the at-fault party or his or her insurance company. The size and location of any scars can also play a role, as does cases of permanent disfigurement.
- Projected future medical costs. Sometimes, when you file a claim, your doctors expect that you will need additional treatment in the future. It’s only fair that your claim takes these future costs into account.
- Psychological and emotional damages. It’s not only the bite itself that was traumatic, it’s the aftermath as well. If you have suffered from an emotional condition as a result of the dog bite, those may be considered. Because of their small stature, children are often the victims of dog bites and are particularly vulnerable to suffering long-term emotional trauma. However, this type of damages is only valuable to the case if the victim gets counseling of some sort. Most parents do not get counseling for their child(ren) after a dog attack, which is a mistake. Those who do not get counseling (usually for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), end-up with life-long emotional scars. In my experience, an adult who doesn’t like dogs was attacked by one as a child, and never received proper counseling!
- Lost income. You may be unable to work while getting medical treatment, causing you to suffer the loss of work income. Those lost wages will be included in the damages you claim.
How a Skilled Lawyer Can Help
In short, each dog bite case has its own characteristics and must be approached as a unique case. At the Dog Bite Law Firm, we’ll examine every facet of how the injury took place and what your medical outlook will be in the future. We’ll also take into account important non-economic damages such as psychological distress.
Insurance companies often want to offer up settlements quickly, but these are often unfairly low. The insurers are hoping that you will NOT hire a dog bite attorney, and that you’ll accept the quick money—which is ALWAYS less than you can get if you are represented by an experienced dog bite lawyer. I know how to fight for fair compensation, and we will do everything possible for you so that you are paid fairly for what happened. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation so we can review your case. And remember: we don’t collect any fees until you recover compensation.