Are you bitten by a dog? Have you suffered injuries? If you have been injured during a dog bite attack, in most cases the owner of the dog can be held liable to compensate you for any damages or losses suffered.
In the United States, who can be held liable and what losses can be compensated is dependent on the specific state’s dog bite laws for victims . USA has a lawsuit for dog master to sue for a dog bite.
Dog bite cases are common in the country, both adults and children are victims of dog bites. There were around 89.7 million pet dogs in the USA in the year 2017-18. Approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year, out of which 8, 85,000 required medical attention.
California leads the nation in dog bite injuries and the number of deaths due to dog bites.
As a dog bites victim you may be hurting and confused on what steps to be taken. During this vulnerable time, it is important to consult a dog bite lawyer and understand whether your case is eligible to file a dog bite lawsuit against the dog owner or the responsible party.
Who can be held liable in a Dog bite case?
The severity of dog bites can be different in each case, while some may cause minor injuries some can be serious. There are many factors that determine the severity of the bite or attack. Factors like the breed of the dog, the cause of the dog bite, the age of the victim etc.
If a person is bitten by a dog and suffers injuries, the owner can be held liable to compensate the injury victim for any damages suffered during the dog bite or attack. Dog bite laws and rules differ in each state and are dependent on the situation of the dog bite attack.
The laws are complicated and there is a statute of limitations for different laws, hence it is advisable to consult a dog bite attorney as soon as possible after the attack. A professional lawyer can help determine whether you are eligible to sue the dog’s owner for damages. They can help lighten the stress of the situation and help protect the details of your case.
Dog bites can range in severity, from minor to severe, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Factors such as a dog’s breed, the cause of the dog bite incident, the age of the victim involved etc. determine the severity of a dog bite accident.
Each state has different dog bite laws, however, in most cases, if an animal causes significant harm to a person, the victim can sue the owner for the injuries and damages suffered. This is applicable only if the victim didn’t provoke the animal or the victim was not trespassing on private property.
The settlement received for a dog bite case depends on different aspects of the case. For example, when a child is bitten by a dog, the settlement may be much higher as compared to an adult victim because a large dog can cause serious injuries to a small child and leave the child with lifelong trauma and fear.
What losses can be compensated in a dog bite lawsuit ?
By filing a lawsuit against the owner or concerned party you can recover compensation for all your losses and damages suffered. Predominantly you can recover the cost of all the medical expenses incurred and also damages like emotional trauma or permanent disfigurement etc.
Some of the most common types of compensation recovered in a dog bite lawsuit are:
- Medical bills (Present and Future)
- Loss of job or wages
- Reduction in ability to earn or lead lifestyle as before
- Physical injuries, pain and trauma
- Emotional suffering and anguish,
- Loss of consortium
- Damage to the property
Can punitive damages be recovered in a dog bite lawsuit ?
In normal cases punitive damages are not paid in a dog bite lawsuit, however, in rare instances, punitive damages are announced when the defendant behaves badly in court or their conduct is not acceptable during the accident and posts it.
Is a dog bite lawsuit covered under dog owner’s insurance?
If the dog owner or person responsible for the dog has insurance the dog bite related costs can be covered under it. Both homeowners insurance and renters insurance can help in covering a dog owner’s liability. However, in most insurance policies the insurance company requires the dog owners to opt for specific coverage.
Many dog owners refuse to opt-in due to the high premiums involved. In such cases, the dog bite lawsuit cannot be covered under the dog owner’s insurance.
Moreover, there are some dog owners who find it difficult to get the required insurance coverage because of the breed of their dog. Insurance companies covering dangerous breeds of dogs charge exorbitant premiums.
Some of the dangerous breeds of dogs are Pit bulls, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Staffordshire terriers, Chows etc. If there is no insurance coverage then the owner of the dog has to be held personally liable for the attack.
What compensation can be recovered in a fatal dog bite accident?
In unfortunate circumstances, if the victim of a dog bite dies, the victim’s family or representative can file a wrongful death claim and be compensated accordingly. The damages that can be recovered under wrongful death lawsuits are not the same as regular dog bite cases. They include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support for family
- Loss of consortium.
How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
As seen above all dog bite attacks are not similar some cause minor injuries some can be serious and fatal at times. In case of severe injuries, the victim can claim large monetary damages. Generally bigger monetary damages are awarded if the dog bite:
- Leads to disfigurement or leaves behind visible scars. Such cases can involve settlements over $100,000.
- Causes permanent disability, such cases involve settlements over $200,000.
- The injuries require emergency medical attention or surgery or extended medical care
- Causes mental agony and anguish that requires mental health therapy like PTSD counseling.
On an average, victims can receive $40,000 for a serious but typical dog bite injury. The amount of compensation depends on the actual injuries and financial damages suffered. The settlement amount tries to reimburse the victim for their medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and other resulting damages.
California Dog Bite Lawyers
A professional dog bite lawyer can help evaluate the value of your dog bite lawsuit. Generally, bigger injuries mean greater monetary settlements. The dog bite claim procedure is a complicated process. There is a statute of limitations that need to be kept in mind before filing a claim.
California’s dog bites law statute of limitations requires the victim to file the claim within two years of the attack.
Khashan Law Firm has been representing victims of dog bite attack cases for several years. Our team of professional personal injury attorneys specialize in handling dog bite cases. Once we take over the case our dog bite attorneys will be responsible for handling all the communication and negotiations with the insurance company or the liable party.
If you or your family member has been a victim of a dog bite attack do not hesitate to seek our expert legal assistance. Call us today at 951.461.2387 for a free and confidential consultation.