Many people get hurt every year due to dog bites. In most of these cases, the person that was bitten does not know they can get the owner of the dog to pay for the medical expenses derived from this incident. Very few people actually assert their right and file a claim. This happens because few people know the local laws regarding dog bites. They sometimes think it was a minor incident that is not covered or described in local regulations. This is one reason to find a lawyer who can explain your rights properly.
How much is the claim worth?
It is a little tricky and a personal question. It is personal because the legal authorities have to determine the level of damages and therefore the compensation that should cover all the related expenses. These expenses can be directly related to the physical damage inflicted, such as wound and surgery. Expenses, however, can also be linked to the incident and the emotional damage inflicted, such as nightmares or nerves crisis.
This is why it is very important to keep everything well documented so that your lawyer can use this evidence to get maximum compensation for your dog bite case. Cases that are lost because of lacking sufficient evidence should not be happening under the guidance of an experienced lawyer.
Individual circumstances related to compensation
Each case has to be carefully evaluated. There are some general terms in which compensation will be adjusted, and this will vary from one individual to another. These are the usual areas that are examined:
These are the most common expenses covered by the dog’s owner. They include medical fees, costs of surgery and tests, cost of treatment, ambulance’s invoices. If it is necessary to have further medical visits, they are also included in this section. Therapy and later checkups can also be necessary.
Wages that are lost
If the victim needs to take some time to rest and cannot go to work because of the injury, this can be included in the compensation plan. Due to the same incident, wages are going to be lost due to the absence from work.
Pain and Suffering
Intangible damages are sometimes difficult to determine. However, if a psychologist determines that there are emotional damage and suffering, this can be taken into account to establish the money to be paid. Mental, physical and emotional damage has to be taken into consideration in dog’s bite cases.
What to do immediately after the incident?
- Seek medical help
First things first. If the injury is serious, you have to get a medical doctor to check it out immediately. These wounds are prone to infections, and your blood has to be tested for rabies as soon as possible.
- Exchange information with the dog owner
You are both involved in an incident that will surely have legal consequences. Phone numbers, names, and addresses should be communicated so that you are able to reach each other.
- Do not discuss blame or money matters
Try to avoid this type of conversation because if you are the victim, I can be used against you in court. Compensation is going to be determined later by the authorities, not by the owner of the dog or the victim of the incident.
- Keep track of the injury’s progress
Take pictures and keep a diary with the description of the events and the progress. This can help support your case, and they can also be valuable for the medical staff that has to take care of your injuries.
- Keep copies of valuable documents
Pictures, invoices, reports, every document that is related to the event should be kept in a specific file. This way all the necessary information will be available for the lawyer and also for the authorities when they ask for it. You can keep it on your computer as a digital folder or have it printed.
- File a police report
Consider this option and inform the local animal control office about the incident. Most of the time they keep a good database of all these incidents, and this allows them to investigate further and prevent some other events.