How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth?
The value of a dog bite lawsuit in Florida will depend on many factors, including the extent and severity of the injuries, whether the victim was on the property legally, and whether the dog owner has any defenses against the claim.
Every case is different. If you get hurt in a dog attack, you could talk to a dog bite lawyer about your legal options. Meldon Law is available to take your case and put your worries at ease. Dial (352) 373-8000.
These Factors Can Affect How Much Your Dog Bite Lawsuit Is Worth
The value of your injury claim or lawsuit depends on:
- The severity of your condition. A bite that causes torn ligaments and infections will merit more compensation than a bite that didn’t break the skin.
- Your necessary medical care. Your settlement could account for the full cost of your necessary treatment expenses, including skin grafts, antibiotics, cosmetic surgery, and stitches.
- Your missed time from work. The more time you miss from work, the more compensation you can request for lost tips, bonuses, and benefits.
When it comes to dog bites, Florida operates on a strict liability rule. This means that the dog’s owner is strictly liable for the damages their pet causes––even if the animal had never acted aggressively before. For many claimants, this is good news. You don’t have to prove negligence here. You only have to make a connection between your damages and the dog bite to pursue compensation.
Your Dog Bite Lawsuit Could Comprise These Damages
As the injured claimant, you can pursue a claim for your injuries and other losses. Compensable damages include:
- Lost wages. When a person misses work while recuperating from their injuries, they often miss paychecks. You can recoup lost tips, bonuses, benefits, and commissions. You can also seek compensation for loss of future earning capacity.
- Your necessary medical expenses. Financial recovery could account for treatment, ambulance rides, emergency room visits, doctors, hospitals, initial surgical procedures, physical therapy, and prescription drugs.
- The cost of plastic or reconstructive surgery, particularly of the face, to correct or reduce disfigurement. This could comprise a significant portion of your claim if the dog bite caused noticeable scarring.
- Future medical expenses. Any person who gets attacked by a dog could need surgery in the future at different stages of healing to minimize scarring and release contractures. Contractures are hardened scar tissue that can shorten skin and other tissues, limiting a person’s mobility, function, and range of motion.
- Pain and suffering. You can recover compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering the dog bite inflicted.
- Other non-economic losses. Many people who experience a terrifying event, like getting mauled by a dog, develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition could make the person socially isolated out of fear of another attack. Also, dog bites can be disfiguring, and scars from a childhood dog attack can become larger as the child grows. You could recover compensation for each of these hardships.
- Wrongful death-related expenses. According to American Family Physician. dog bites and their complications can be fatal, particularly to child victims. The legal beneficiaries of someone who passed away from a dog bite can recover funeral costs, burial expenses, and end-of-life care fees.
With so much money at stake, insurance companies fight dog bite injury claims aggressively, often blaming the victim for the attack. You don’t have to go through this process alone. When you have a dog bite injury lawyer from Meldon Law, you get an advocate who protects your best interests.
Defenses to Dog Bite Injury Cases in Florida
There are three primary defenses a dog owner might use to try to escape liability. To avoid paying for your losses, the other party may allege:
- You provoked the dog. The dog owner might claim that you incited the dog, prompting the attack. Your lawyer can use eyewitness testimony to combat these allegations.
- The dog was protecting the property. Many people keep dogs for protection. So, the other party’s dog may have bitten you while on their property. As long as we can prove that you weren’t trespassing, we can continue our fight for damages.
- You had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression. The liable party can use this excuse all they want, but, as noted, Florida operates on a strict liability system. This means you can seek damages even if you knew that the dog was inclined toward aggression.
You have legal rights as a dog bite injury victim—and Meldon Law will help you uphold them.
Three Things That Could Protect the Economic Value of Your Dog Bite Case
You can take some actions to preserve the financial value of your dog bite claim. Some considerations include:
Calling 911 Immediately
Law enforcement and animal control will be essential in trying to capture the dog, finding the owner, and determining whether the animal is current on its vaccines. Also, any reports from these officials could help build your case against the owner, particularly if the owner later blames you for the attack.
Getting a Medical Evaluation Right Away
People can develop life-threatening infections from dog bites, such as rabies and tetanus. Without prompt medical attention, both of these conditions can turn fatal, per Mayo Clinic. Not only can visiting a healthcare provider benefit your health, but the information you get could help your injury claim.
Explore Your Options With a Dog Bite Lawyer
If you’re unsure about your options moving forward, you can talk to a dog bite lawyer from Meldon Law. We can review your case, explain your options, and chart a path moving forward.
Start Your Free Case Review Now
Meldon Law can fight your legal battles so you can focus on getting better. We are tenacious fighters for our clients. Helping injured people isn’t just our job; it’s our calling.
You can reach out to us today for a free initial consultation about your dog bite case. Dial (352) 373-8000 to get started.