The United States sees 4.7 million dog bites every year. Many of these attacks are from stray or feral dogs with no owners. Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog. In fact, a child has a 50% chance of getting bitten, with boys bitten more often than girls.
Dog bites are no laughing matter. A dog attack can cause catastrophic injuries — including puncture wounds, injuries to the face and neck, eye injuries, broken bones, nerve damage, rabies, and infections. It can also cause lifelong injuries such as scarring and disfigurement. Some victims suffer emotional effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a lingering fear of dogs.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive?
If you were injured by a dog attack, you can receive an injury settlement from the dog’s owner to pay for damages. These damages include:
- Medical bills. This includes hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits, medications, physical therapy, and psychological treatment.
- Lost income. If you have to take time off work for medical care, treatment, or recovery from injuries and pain, you are entitled to financial recovery. If your injuries are expected to affect your work duties in the near future, then you can recover an injury settlement for future lost income as well.
- Property damage. If any property got damaged during the dog attack, such as clothing, eyeglasses, or a phone or electronic device, you can recover an injury settlement for the loss.
- Pain and suffering. Getting bitten by a dog hurts physically and emotionally. Dog bites can get very deep, causing immense pain. Sometimes this pain lasts for a long time. Many victims also develop emotional damages from the dog attack. They may suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression.
Many develop a fear of dogs. You can receive an injury settlement for pain and suffering and other emotional damages, but how do you put a dollar amount on it? Lawyers have ways. Some use a multiplier, which means they will add up all the other damages and multiply it by a number (1.5 to 4) based on the injuries involved.
A permanent disability such as amputation, scarring, or disfigurement will lead to higher amounts of financial recovery for pain and suffering. Children are more likely than adults to receive an injury settlement for future pain and suffering since they tend to develop serious trauma from dog bites.
- Punitive damages. Although rare, punitive damages are allowed for dog bite victims in California. Punitive damages are meant to publish those who engage in particularly bad behavior. However, in order to obtain these damages, you must be able to prove malice. This means that the dog owner was acting recklessly and disregarded the safety of others by allowing their dog to run free and attack other people.
Contact Us Today
Our firm has settled several dog bite cases for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Dog bite injuries can be catastrophic. Even when they are minor, if they are on a person’s face or if they leave ugly scars on a person’s body, they can cause great distress. Some tracks lead to scarring and other long-term injuries.
An experienced Huntington Beach Personal Injury Lawyer at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help you get the financial recovery you deserve for your dog bite injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 213-985-1120 or filling out the online form.