According to the CDC, “Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Almost 1 out of 5 bites become infected.”
Depending on the circumstances and the relevant laws, dog owners are usually liable for injuries that their dog may cause. The owner’s insurance company will be sought after for compensation for damages suffered. The damages that can be claimed if liability is accepted are:
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Income
- Any property damages caused by the dog, such as broken glasses or damaged bike
- Multiple Damages if the dog was already considered a ‘dangerous dog’ by already being involved in a damage causing incident previously
- Punitive Damages can be ordered by a judge to send a strong message to the owner and make sure their reckless behavior with their dog does not happen again
Dog bites are a slightly more difficult case because aside from the defendant’s liability, the case is also based on the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. Dog bites that are easily treatable by a small first aid kit will most likely not become a solid case. Of course it depends on the situation, though. For example, if the owner constantly does not have their dog on a leash and he or she is aware that the dog has a tendency to run up to strangers in public and the dog ends up biting someone walking down the street, the person bitten still has a case that the plaintiff was negligent and can be liable for damages that aren’t just the low medical costs. Unfortunately, there are situations where a dog bit can lead to severe medical issues, which is why you should always still get the wound checked out by a doctor even if it only appears to be a small bite mark.
Some insurance companies don’t even cover dog bite incidents, so if you hire a personal injury attorney for your case, they may need to file a lawsuit against the owner if they see that you have a decent case at hand. If you are a dog owner, it is important to take the necessary precautions in making sure your dog is under a watchful eye and on a leash. If you know you have an aggressive dog, be sure to have a warning sign up on your home and keep up with their veterinary visits to ensure they do not carry any diseases.
Wondering whether you have a case or not after getting bitten by a dog? Call the office at (954) 755-7803 or contact us here.