How Much Is A Dog Bite Case Worth?
Many dogs pose no threat to humans. Yet, untrained and vicious animals can cause serious injuries that take a long time to heal. Victims might also suffer psychologically, perhaps fearing dogs for the rest of their lives.
After a dog bite, your future can seem uncertain. You might wonder how much your case is worth or what you can do to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses.
The compassionate lawyers at Phillips & Associates can give you personalized attention in addition to the information provided below. Schedule your free consultation to determine your legal options and learn how to pursue justice for your dog bite injuries. Send us a message or call (602) 258-8888 at any time to speak with one of our representatives.
Understanding the Responsibilities of Dog Owners
Dog owners must control their animals. According to the CDC, responsible dog owners take preventative action to socialize their pets and use leashes in public.
For instance, pet owners should be on guard when their dogs are:
- Protecting puppies
- Protecting toys or territory
- Playing rough
- Feeling sick, angry, or afraid
- Meeting new people, especially children
- Running off-leash
In many parts of the United States, there are laws governing the use of leashes. These include:
- California: Owners must keep potentially dangerous dogs in a securely fenced yard, if not indoors, on their properties. Anytime the animals leave the premises, they must be on a sturdy leash of “appropriate length” under the control of a responsible adult.
- Utah: The owner or current guardian is strictly liable for any violation committed by a dog running at large, regardless of whether they were aware that the dog was running loose. Unlike many states, the victim does not need to prove the owner was aware of the danger. However, dogs are allowed off-leash in specially designated dog parks around Utah.
- Arizona: Dogs must be leashed in public spaces like parks and school properties. Canines known to be aggressive or female dogs in heat should be kept in a secured area or on a leash.
Any dog has the potential of biting someone, even if it is a cherished family pet. Researchers found that 3 of every 5 bite victims were bitten by a pet of their own or living in their neighborhood. Anyone owning a dog should think about the safety of others who will interact with the animal.
Recognizing the Costly Aftermath of Dog Bites
Dog bites hurt, but victims are not out of danger when the attack is over. Almost 20 percent of dog bite victims require medical attention.
After a dog attack, a victim might experience:
- Arm, hand, leg, and foot injuries: These areas of the body, the most susceptible to bites, comprise over 70 percent of injuries.
- Head and neck trauma: Children aged 4 or below are the most likely to experience injury to this region of the body.
- Punctures and lacerations: Dog teeth are sharp, so puncture wounds and cuts are common symptoms of bites.
- Dislocations, fractures, and amputations: In one case study, a child sustained fractures to her skull and mandible, and a torn ear and cheek.
- Contusions, abrasions, and hematomas: Bruises and scrapes can come from the actual attack or from the victim being dragged or escaping via a rough surface, such as on rocks or through thorn bushes.
- Infections: Cellulitis is only one of many infections that might result from a dog bite. This bacterial infection can cause swollen, painful skin, fever, and chills.
- Communicable diseases: Dog bites can spread diseases like rabies. This virus targets the central nervous system, eventually causing death if an unvaccinated person does not seek medical attention in time.
- Blood loss: Uncontrolled bleeding can be fatal.
- Death: The chances of dying from a dog attack in the United States is 1 in 69,016.
Many people experience psychological distress after being bitten by a dog. For instance, one study revealed that 12 out of 22 children showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within 2 to 9 months. In particular, severe attacks with multiple or deep wounds are associated with PTSD.
Calculating What Your Dog Bite is Worth
You might be eligible for significant compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and psychological injuries. Yet, how much?
At Phillips Law Group, our record of successful personal injury cases has taught us that certain variables influence the valuation of a claim. For example, some states enforce a “one-bite rule.”
Suppose a dog bites someone. The one-bite rule establishes that the dog has the potential for violent behavior. If the dog bites again, the owner may be liable for failing to take appropriate actions to prevent a repeat attack.
Other states could hold an owner immediately liable for any attack, even if it seemed entirely out of character for the animal. Schedule your free case review to learn the laws applying to your case where you live.
During your free appointment, our trusted attorneys can evaluate the factors that pertain to your case, namely:
- The dog’s bite history: Is this the first time this animal has bitten someone?
- The injuries suffered by the victim: How severe are your injuries? Will you need ongoing treatment, such as surgery or physical therapy, to recover fully?
- The age of the victim: How old are you or the victim? If you are a parent, you can seek financial compensation on behalf of your minor child.
- The location: Were you in a public space at the time of the event? What are the leash laws at the site of the incident?
- The type of dog: Did the dog have a special role like law enforcement or emotional support?
- Dog owner’s behavior: What role did the owner play in the attack? Did he or she do something to instigate or prevent the incident? Was the dog registered, vaccinated, and well-trained?
- Your mental and emotional response: How do you feel around dogs now? Does your psychological state affect your ability to work, sleep, or perform other activities?
- Your reason for encountering the dog: Did you encounter the animal while doing your job? Are you a dog groomer, veterinarian, or trainer?
What can you do to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your claim? The next section will explain some practical steps you can take after a dog bite accident.
Getting the Most Out of Your Case
As a victim, you might feel powerless. Yet, the actions you take (or avoid taking) now can strengthen your case:
- Take photographs. Take regular photographs of your injuries from the time of their occurrence until they heal. Your lawyer can investigate whether there is video evidence of the accident from CCTV or cameras at nearby homes or businesses.
- Exchange contact information with everyone involved. Besides the dog owner, you should ask eyewitnesses for a way to contact them.
- Seek medical care right away. In addition to your initial visit, be sure to attend your appointments for testing, physical therapy, and other follow-up care.
- Keep a journal. Write down your daily challenges and struggles related to your injuries. Be detailed about how you feel and how your life has changed since the event. You can also keep track of symptoms like insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
What if owners or their insurers offer you a settlement? Before you accept, you should be aware that injured parties often underestimate the value of their claims. Experienced lawyers, though, can identify a truly fair settlement so you don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve.
Learning What Your Claim is Worth Without Obligation
If you hire Phillips Law Group, you will pay no fees until we win for you. Yet, all dog bite victims can schedule a free case evaluation – without any obligation to hire our law firm.
We understand that you have questions. No matter where you are located in the US, we can help you learn your legal options. Our hardworking dog bite lawyers have already recovered more than $500 million dollars in compensation since 1993.
How can we help you? Someone is available to take your call every day, 24 hours a day, so please feel free to contact us at (800) 706-3000 as soon as you can. We look forward to helping you discover how much your case is worth.
Jasmine helped me so so much I want to thank her ! And also Aaron , i was always scared after an accident , knowing I would have to deal with lawyers but not here . Luckily I’ve only been in 3 accidents but this time it was fast and easy . And i received all the treatments I needed to help me recover ! Thank you Jasmine and Aaron!
Sophia H is a pleasure to work with! Thanks for all you do.
Jasmine , did a great job . Highly recommend!!!!!
Liz was great
Liz Gonzales was great!!!!
Thank you Phillips Law Group for all the support and back to school assistance we appreciate it.
Sophia H is very helpful.
Jasmine Delgado is an amazing paralegal. She was patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. Highly recommend Phillips law group
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