Dog Bite Injuries can be Expensive
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average payout on a dog bite injury is $37,000. Remember that this is the average. Some catastrophic injuries can require several times that amount in medical care. If you have been mauled or bitten by a dog, you might wonder how much you can receive in compensation. Consider the factors below.
Add Up the Cost of Medical Care
Depending on the dog bite, you might need to go to the emergency room or see a doctor to receive tetanus and rabies vaccinations. A doctor might also need to clean and dress the wound and, depending on the circumstances, insert stitches.
All this medical care adds up. To prevent an infection, a doctor might also prescribe a regimen of antibiotics and require periodic follow-up visits to monitor how your wound is healing. All told, medical bills for a minor dog bite could approach $10,000.
In particularly bad dog attacks, the expenses will be much higher. Victims might need skin grafts or reconstructive surgery. In devastating attacks that injure your limbs or spinal cord, victims can undergo months or years of rehabilitation in the hopes of regaining mobility.
Calculate Lost Wages
If the dog bite kept you from going to work, you can usually receive compensation for your lost wages. Find proof of how much you typically make and add up the amount of time missed. If you are self-employed, then gather information about how much you typically make from your business. Generally, dog bite victims can receive 100% reimbursement for lost wages.
Estimate the Costs of Pain and Suffering
Dog attacks can evoke memories of Stephen King’s Cujo, and it is not unusual for victims to suffer emotionally long after the attack. Helpfully, Ohio law allows dog bite victims to receive compensation for pain and suffering, including emotional distress. The amount you receive will generally depend on the severity of your physical injuries, with more serious injuries warranting greater awards for emotional distress.
If a dog bit a child, then the non-economic damages might be quite large. Young children often suffer from intense fear of dogs and anxiety, which requires therapy and possibly medication. Discuss any emotional fallout with your Ohio dog bite lawyer.
Determine How Much Money is Available
Most dog owners do not have large sums of money in their checking or savings account. Instead, injured victims will need to make a claim with the owners’ homeowners or renters insurance policy. The maximum amount of the policy might be all that a victim can get for compensation. If the dog owner has no homeowner’s insurance, then obtaining any compensation could be very difficult.
Speak with a Dog Bite Lawyer in Ohio
Dog bites are serious injuries that can leave you laid up for months. If you have been bitten, you might have questions about how much you can receive and what evidence you will need to make a claim. Speak to a dog bite attorney at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott today. We offer free consultations to potential clients.