Dogs are household pets that can be a source of a lot of joy. However, when a dog attacks a person, it can cause a great deal of pain and suffering. More than 800,000 people are treated for dog bites in the US annually. These injuries range from minor nicks to severe lacerations and broken bones.
When a dog attacks a person, the dog owner will be held liable for the damage their pet has caused. The dog owner or their insurance company may be required to pay the victim for the harm their pet has caused.
Damages that victims can sue for in a dog bite claim
These are the most obvious expenses resulting from a dog attack. You can file a lawsuit to claim medical expenses including hospital services, physical therapy, medication as well as psychological treatment.
Indiana applies strict liability. This means that victims of dog bites can sue the owner of the dog even when the injuries resulted in aggravation of a pre-existing medical injury. For example, if the dog attacked a person with a back condition resulting in a fall that led to back surgery, the dog’s owner can be held responsible for the medical bills of the surgery.
Pain and suffering
Injuries from a dog bite can be painful. Dog bite victims may also experience emotional suffering from the trauma of their experience as well as the resulting physical pain. Some victims even develop a debilitating fear of dogs, which in turn makes it hard for them to go outside their homes for fear of being attacked again. Others suffer emotional distress from the medical procedures or the life changes they have to make resulting from disabilities or the loss of limbs.
It is hard to determine how much should be given for a victim’s pain and suffering. An experienced attorney will help you determine an appropriate amount by applying various factors.
There are cases where victims of dog bites have to take time off work in order to seek medical treatment and recover from their injuries. There are some cases where the attack results in injuries that impair the victim’s ability to work in the future.
Victims can seek compensation for income they would have earned in the period they were recuperating from the injury. Victims that are unable to return to work due to impairment can seek compensation for future income.
How a personal injury attorney can help
It is not uncommon for a rather straightforward dog bite case to turn into a complicated one. Insurance companies and dog owners often do what they can to avoid having to pay compensation. It is also important to note that Indiana’s ‘One Bite’ rule will mean having to prove that the dog owner knew their dog had displayed aggressive behavior previously.
Hiring an attorney will help to improve your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries. An experienced attorney will have the resources to investigate the case and the skills to negotiate a fair settlement. They will defend your legal rights to compensation.