Though dogs are said to be man’s best friend, their bites pose a great health risk to the victims. In the United States, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. When a dog bites someone, they can sue the dog’s owner and claim damages.
However, dog bites are not easy to deal with or treat. Liability claims for such injuries cost homeowner insurers millions of dollars every year. Depending on the nature or severity of the attack or bite, a victim can claim damages for lost income, medical bills, property damages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and more.
Dog bite claims fall under personal injury, and if you have suffered a dog bite, you may want to hire a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to help you file your claim or lawsuit. At times, victims can have their compensation reduced if they are partly to blame for the incident. To ensure a fair settlement, work with an experienced lawyer to ensure that you claim compensation for the following:
If you sustained a severe bite, you might have to take some time off work to recover and keep all doctors’ appointments. The dog owner’s insurance company should compensate you for the income you lost while staying at home.
In case the injuries impair your ability to resume regular duties in the future, they should also compensate you for loss in earning capacity.
This is a common and obvious claim in personal injury cases. Medical bills include doctors’ visits, nursing care, medication, surgery, psychological treatment, physical therapy, and any other cost related to your treatment.
If the dog bite triggered a pre-existing medical condition, your lawyer can also claim such damages because the legal rule calls for the defendant to compensate the plaintiff for any injury that flows from the accident.
Pain and Suffering
While it is inevitable to go through physical pain and suffering after a mauling attack or dog bite, you can also possibly go through emotional or mental suffering–and it is only right to seek compensation for them. Physical pain and the attack itself can cause serious emotional distress, which can take several therapy sessions to get over. Victims can experience a devastating fear of dogs, which can stop them from going outside.
Dog attacks can also cause shock, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and more. In some cases, the victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Personal injury attorneys and insurers use the multiplier method and disfigurement to determine how much the victim should get for what they went through, including future pain and suffering.
Punitive and Multiple Damages
If the dog owner was careless with their dog, they might have to pay the victim punitive damages. For example, if they repeatedly let the dog run loose or they were reckless, they will pay the extra amount to ensure that they do not repeat the same mistake.
Some states also require dog owners to pay multiple damages if their dog had been declared a danger to their community and if they fail to prevent it from hurting someone.
Loss of Consortium
If a victim sustains an injury that affects their relationship with their spouses, they can also claim for loss of consortium. This is mainly compensation for the lost intimacy or companionship. Some states also extend this claim to the victim’s children or parents.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Help with Your Dog Bite Claim
Dogs are not always friendly and cute, they can also attack, and if they do, you can claim damages for your loss, injuries, and pain. To seek compensation and get justice for a dog bite, hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and ensure that you get fair compensation.