When you are bitten by someone else’s dog, the injuries will take physical and emotional tolls on you. The financial burden of recovering from a dog bite or dog attack is often much more than people realize and sometimes requires long-term medical care. One common injury that can arise from a dog bite is infection. Because a dog’s mouth can be unsanitary and deep wounds are already at high-risk for infection, a victim could find themselves dealing with the aftermath of their dog bite for years.
A common question in these types of cases is whether or not the victim could receive compensation for the post-bite infection. In order to answer that, you must first understand what influences the settlement process in a dog bite claim.
Factors That Influence a Dog Bite Settlement
Pennsylvania injury laws give dog bite victims the right to sue for damages or financial compensation for the injuries they have suffered in a dog attack. There are factors that can influence how high the settlement is, including:
- Total cost of past, present and future medical treatments
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Lost wages
- The cost of hiring someone to help with household chores
- The emotional distress
- The secondary medical costs that arise from the initial attack (i.e. wound infection)
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite Infection?
Not all wound infections are the responsibility of the dog’s owner. Instead, it comes down to determining if the infection was the direct result of the dog bite or if it was the result of improper wound care. For example, after a dog bite you are given strict instructions for caring for your sutures and open wounds. You fail to follow those instructions or fail to use antibiotics prescribed to you. The result is a serious infection. In this case, it was your own negligence that led to the infection – not the dog owners.
If, however, you follow all wound care instructions and you still develop an infection or you develop a canine-specific infection (such as rabies), then the dog’s owner would be liable for not only the medical treatments of the cuts and wounds, but also the treatment and damages associated with the infection.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive?
There is no general rule as to how much a dog bite victim will receive after a vicious attack. Instead, the compensation will come down to the total damages (costs) the victim has experienced, any long-term costs they will also experience and the emotional toll the attack itself has taken on the victim, as well as pain and suffering. If there is scarring, much more damages are available. In some cases, victims will receive only a few thousand, while other cases could result in hundreds of thousands. The more extensive the injury or infection, however, the higher the settlement. Also, if the injuries are long-term or will cause lifelong problems for the victim, they will receive higher compensation.
Speak with a Dog Bite Attack Attorney First
If you were attacked by a dog and suffered a post-bite infection, you could be entitled to compensation. You will first want to speak with a dog bite attorney to explore your options. Contact Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq. today on his cell to discuss your case at 215-771-0430, at his office 215-987-3550, or fill out an online contact form with your dog bite questions.