Recovering Dog Bite Damages
Dog bites can result in significant physical and emotional trauma. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately 5 million dog bite victims who require emergency medical attention every year. One out of every five of these dog bite injuries will become infected; many will require surgery and long-term rehabilitation to restore functionality.
If you are bitten by someone else’s dog, you may recover for any damages you incur as a result. Here are eight damages for which you may recover when you are bitten by a dog.
The most common damage suffered in a dog attack is physical damage to your body. This commonly includes:
- Soft tissue damage
- Muscle damage
- Nerve damage
- Eye injuries
- Broken bones
All of these injuries can be extremely severe and require:
- Ambulance service
- Reconstructive surgery
- Doctor bills
- Follow-up care
- Treatment for any pre-existing conditions aggravated by the attack
You are entitled to compensation for all past and future medical expenses associated with your dog bite injuries. You should be sure to retain experienced dog bite lawyers like those at Foster Wallace to help you recover all of the damages to which you are entitled.
Lost Wages and Income
When you think of a dog bite, you probably think of broken skin, some bleeding, and perhaps a trip to the emergency room for a tetanus shot to help avoid infection. However, many bite victims are hospitalized because of the severity of the bite wounds or because of infection. Many victims require surgery. As a result, dog bites can cause a significant amount of lost employment.
If you are bitten by a dog and have to lose time at work or are unable to return to your work because of lost functionality as a result of your dog bite injuries, you may recover damages for lost wages and income, as well as your loss of capacity to earn future income. The dog bite lawyers at Foster Wallace have years of experience and success at recovering lost wages and income for dog bite victims. Contact Foster Wallace to discuss what income damages you may be entitled to as a result of a dog bite injury.
Pain and Suffering
Injuries suffered as a result of being mauled and bitten by a dog can be severe and extremely painful. You may also suffer pain associated with surgeries, treatment, and rehabilitation or physical therapy that is necessary to regain full use of any injured limbs or body parts. You are entitled to be compensated for having to endure this pain and suffering as a result of your attack. These damages may be increased, depending on any permanent disfigurement that may result and any future surgeries or treatment that may be necessary for recovery.
Often, victims who suffer a vicious dog attack are not only physically scarred but may be emotionally scarred as well. Many victims suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the trauma of being attacked by a dog. Victims may be afraid to be near dogs or even to go outside. They can suffer debilitating anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression as a result of the emotional effect of a dog attack. These effects can be more severe in children and can be long-term. If you suffer any emotional trauma as a result of being mauled in a dog attack, you may be compensated for these damages.
You also may be compensated for any property damage suffered as a result of a dog attack. This commonly includes:
- Torn or shredded clothes
- Damaged shoes
- Broken glasses
- Damage to any property being carried when attacked
- Damage to bicycles
Although these damages are not often significant, they are compensable nevertheless.
Loss of Enjoyment
A victim also may be compensated for damage resulting to the loss of enjoyment of life as a result of permanent dysfunction, emotional trauma, or disfigurement as a result of the effects of a dog attack. This can include anticipated pain and suffering that may be long-term or result from future surgeries, physical therapy, or other continued treatments, as well as the emotional effect of dealing with any permanent scars or disfigurement.
Loss of Consortium
If you can show that their emotional or physical trauma has impacted their relationship or intimacy with their spouse, they may receive compensation for these damages.
If the owner of a dog that attacks and injures you was particularly outrageous or egregious in their control or treatment of the animal in terms of preventing a foreseeable attack, the owner may be forced to pay additional amounts, above what is considered fair compensation for other damages. These are called “punitive” or “exemplary” damages and are designed to “teach the owner a lesson” and deter the owner from acting so carelessly again.
Victims do not often receive punitive damages, but they be warranted from an owner who may:
- Know their dog has a propensity to attack and fails to restrain the dog in the home or in a fenced area
- Does not keep the animal on a leash
- Allows a dangerous dog to roam free in public
- Invites children to pet an animal known to be vicious