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I’m the victim of a dog attack. What are my legal options?

| Aug 17, 2017 | Blog |

Have you been the victim of a dog attack? After such an event, who is responsible? Is it even worth your while to seek litigation?

While some dog attacks are minor inconveniences, some animal attacks can leave mental and physical scars. Larger breed dogs are strong enough to endanger the life of the attacked person. Significant costs related to surgeries, physical therapy and trauma counseling may be part of the recovery. In the case of dog attacks, dog owners are generally at fault for the injuries caused. 

Here are two of the common questions people have about dog attacks:

  • What compensation can I expect to receive if another person’s dog attacks me?
  • Is taking legal action a good option for me?

The information below may provide you with the answers you seek.

What compensation can I expect to receive if another person’s dog attacks me?

If a dog attacks you, you can expect to receive compensation for any medical costs you incur. The medical costs will often include emergency room or physician’s services, surgery, medical supplies and physical therapy. If your injury causes you to miss work, your lost wages may be part of any award. Any other damages that result because of the dog bite will likely be on the owner of the dog.

Awards to victims may also include payments for pain and suffering. This will depend of the severity of the dog bite injury, the length of your recovery, and the extent of your mental trauma. There is no set amount for pain and suffering awards, and courts decide these on a case-by-case basis.

Is taking legal action a good option for me?

You will want to weigh your options when considering legal action for a dog bite case. Are your injuries severe enough to warrant treatment? Most homeowner’s insurance covers dog owners for this type of incident. Any judgment in your favor may come from the owner’s insurance. A dog owner with no assets and no insurance will be unlikely to pay the costs associated with your injuries. If you think you may not want to sue, you should weigh the decision carefully because these types of lawsuits often have a statute of limitations. If you choose not to sue now, and have effects from the bite a year or two later, it may be too late.

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