The average settlement for a dog bite is difficult to pin down, as many variables play a role. Not every dog bite occurs under the same circumstances, so the amount of compensation that a victim may be entitled to receive can vary dramatically from case to case.
The severity of the injuries you suffered, whether your injuries prevented you from working, and local laws regarding animal attacks are all factors that can influence a dog bite settlement.
Damages in a Dog Bite Injury Case
When a dog bites someone, its owner may be liable for the damages or losses the victim experiences.
If you or a family member became the victim of a dog attack, a personal injury claim may allow you to hold the dog owner accountable and recover financial compensation for your injuries. The types of compensation typically available to dog bite victims include:
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Medical Bills and Future Medical Costs
Dogs are surprisingly strong animals, and the damage they can do during an attack is severe. Dog bite injuries are also unique in that the saliva from the dog’s mouth can cause serious infections.
According to Cleveland Clinic, approximately half of serious dog bites introduce dangerous bacteria such as staphylococcus and capnocytophaga into the victim’s body. Dogs can also carry rabies, which is deadly to humans.
Dog bites often result in:
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Damage to nerves, tendons, and ligaments
- Broken bones
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Eye, nose, and ear injuries
- Bacterial or viral infection
- Psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder
The severity of your injuries and the amount of medical treatment that you required are likely the largest contributing factors to your potential settlement value. The greater your injuries, the more medical treatment you may have required. If your injuries require long-term ongoing medical treatment in the form of physical therapy or occupational therapy, this can increase the value of your case. You may be entitled to compensation for medical costs related to:
- Doctor appointments
- Emergency room treatment
- Plastic surgery
- X-rays and other medical testing
- Wound care
- Medication such as antibiotic medication
- Rehabilitative care
- Mental health treatment, such as counseling or group therapy
- Medical devices and equipment
Lost Income from Missed Work and Reduced Future Earning Capacity
If your dog bite injuries caused you to miss work, you may obtain compensation for your lost wages. You may also recover compensation for future lost wages from work you miss due to follow-up appointments or ongoing medical care.
Moreover, you may be entitled to compensation for any impairment to your ability to work and earn income. If your injuries prevent you from working or forced you to change careers, you may receive compensation for your lost earning capacity. The amount you could recover for diminished earning capacity is generally based on your average income prior to the dog attack, your age, health, and other factors.
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Pain, Suffering, and Mental Anguish
Being attacked by a dog is an extremely traumatizing experience to go through. Dog bite victims are often left with profound psychological scars. They may experience nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and many other psychological symptoms for months or years after the attack. These symptoms can have an impact on the victim’s ability to work, complete everyday tasks, and even enjoy life.
Sadly, many dog bite victims are children. A study of children who suffered dog bites published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that just over half of the participants had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder two to nine months after the attack.
Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for your physical pain, psychological suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages.
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Disfigurement and Scarring from a Dog Attack
Dog bites can cause severe soft tissue injuries that result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. If your injuries resulted in disfiguring scars, you may be entitled to compensation for disfigurement. The severity of the scarring and the impact the scars have on your life will likely influence the amount of compensation you may recover in this category.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for Help
If you are wondering how your case may match up to the average settlement for a dog bite, an attorney can help. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers serves dog bite victims, and our services include calculating your damages before advocating for the compensation you deserve.
According to CC Art. 3492, there is a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana. If your Lafayette dog bite injury case is filed after one year, you may be ineligible for compensation, so it is important not to delay.
Call our office today at (337) 777-7777 for a free case assessment.
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