Never take a dog bite lightly because you may be stuck with serious damages that have a lasting effect. You should seek compensation for your damages, even if it was an accident. Dog bites can result in bacterial infections and even rabies if the dog never received their rabies shot. This is why you should see a doctor even if you don’t think your injury is severe. You can compensate for dog bite damages through a settlement claim. The dog owner is liable for any accidents that happen because of their pet because they should make sure that their dog is not dangerous. If you believe you should receive compensation for a dog attack, then you may be able to get a settlement for your injuries. Speak to a dog bite lawyer first before taking action, and let them know what you experienced. Call Fasig | Brooks today for a free consultation.
What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Dog bites can vary on a scale from one to six, with the highest number being the most deadly. Level two is when the dog’s teeth make contact but do not break the skin, level three is one bite, level four is one bite with deep wounds, level five is multiple bites, and level six is the death of the dog bite victim. Here are some common examples of dog bite injuries:
When a dog gets a hold of your limb, abdomen, neck, or face, it may leave deep puncture wounds that penetrate the skin or muscle. This can result in heavy bleeding, vascular and neurological injuries, and more. The bite force of most dogs averages somewhere between 230 to 250 psi, enough to tear flesh.
Torn Muscle Tissue And Ligaments
Dog bites can tear through flesh and reach the muscle, even ripping muscle tissue and ligaments away from the bone. This can be excruciatingly painful and also render you disabled for a long time until you recover. It can take some time for the ligaments to be reattached and muscle tissue to heal. This may even require surgery to repair the injuries.
The bite force of a dog can be strong enough to break bones, which can leave victims debilitated for some time. Even if the dog bite didn’t break your bones, you may have been knocked over by the dog and hit the ground, resulting in fractured or broken bones because of the fall.
It is more likely for an older individual to dislocate a joint because of a dog bite attack. However, dogs can also pull hard on the arm and shoulder and cause dislocation in children and adults alike. This can also occur in the finger joints if the dog bites your hand or fingers.
Eye And Face Injuries
In some situations, dogs can attack the eyes and face causing partial or full blindness. They may also attack the ears, the nose, and other portions of the face, resulting in disfigurement.
When dogs attack and leave wounds, it can cause scars that may never go away. Some scars can be taken care of by skin grafts or surgery, but most scars leave victims with a permanent reminder of the traumatic dog attack.
What Kind Of Dog Bite Injury Damages Can I Claim?
Dog bite injuries can be extremely uncomfortable and also result in long-term emotional trauma. It can make it difficult to be around dogs without feeling scared or nervous. Dog bite injury damages include economic damages and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, anxiety, sadness, depression, grief, embarrassment, shame, PTSD, and other forms of emotional turmoil. Your dog bite attack attorney works with an insurance adjuster to estimate how much you are owed in non-economic damages by using a multiplier. This multiplier is based on how severe your dog bite was and can be anywhere between one to seven.
You can also receive economic damages, which include medical bills, lost wages, and if applicable, property damages. Your medical bills may be high and require multiple doctor visits, but you can be compensated for all of them. For example, you may require pain medication, lab tests, imaging scans, follow-up clinic visits, medical devices, and many other forms of medical treatment. The total amount of current and future medical expenses can be included in your settlement. Lastly, when you miss time from work, the amount of time you should have been paid had you not been injured will also be included. This means that the time you were unable to work in the past and the future can also be calculated and added to your settlement.
Can I Be At Fault for the Dog Attack?
In most cases, the dog owner is at fault for your injuries as soon as their dog attacks you. This is even if their dog is normally peaceful and not typically aggressive. If you were legally in the area and not trespassing when the dog attacked you, then you would not be held liable. Even if you are visiting someone’s home, the owner is required to keep you safe. If you were provoking the dog or in the area illegally, for example, entering someone’s yard without their permission, you can be held liable for your injuries.
What If The Dog Owner Won’t Talk To Me?
You should do your best to collect the contact information from the dog’s owner, but you don’t have to speak to them yourself. Have your attorney reach out to the dog’s owner to begin negotiating a settlement for your personal injury. They can also investigate your claim to find evidence that you were injured by their dog and deserve compensation. If the owner refuses to compensate you, your dog bite lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court before a judge or jury.
What Do I Do After I Was Bit By A Dog?
After you’ve been attacked by a dog, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Take pictures of your injuries and where the dog attack happened. Your attorney will use your medical bills, photos, and other evidence of the dog bite attack and its repercussions to seek a settlement on your behalf. For more information, contact Fasig | Brooks in Destin & Miramar Beach, FL for a free consultation.