How Much Can You Get For A Dog Bite?

How Much Can You Get For A Dog Bite?

Dogs reign supreme as America’s favorite pet, and many owners consider their four-legged friend a member of the family. While a majority of dog owners act responsibly to ensure their pets do not harm people or other animals, attacks that result in serious bite wounds still occur. More than 12,000 dog bites occur annually in the United States, many of which result in personal injury lawsuits. If you suffered a serious dog bite in New York, our attorneys at Cellino Law will guide you through creating a lawsuit and answer some important questions you might have about seeking compensation.

How Do Serious Dog Bites Happen? 

While any dog can deliver a serious bite, some dogs are more likely to attack than others. In many cases, when unexpected attacks happen, the dog in question may bite because of poor owner intervention and training, including:

  • A lack of socialization as a puppy 
  • Little or no corrective behavior when biting begins 
  • Encouragement of aggressive behavior 
  • Allowing them to wander freely 

When dog owners do little to control their animals, the higher the risk their pets might engage in aggressive biting behavior without warning.

What Are Some Common Dog Bite Scenarios? 

Each dog bite case is unique in its circumstances. However, many share some common factors.

An Aggressive Dog Is Not Fenced Properly 

People taking walks, exercising or relaxing on their front porch may receive a dog bite from an aggressive animal that can jump over a fence or push through a poorly-latched gate. Some may attack people walking small dogs because of their strong prey drive, and individuals may receive bites while trying to protect their leashed animals.

Dogs Are Allowed To Roam In Packs

When owners allow their dogs to roam around the neighborhood, they may join other animals and wander together in pairs or packs. When dogs join a pack, their aggression levels often increase, especially if the pack leader exhibits aggressive tendencies.

The Animal Has a Bite History 

Once a dog bites someone without provocation, the owner is responsible for ensuring it does not happen again. However, some negligent owners fail to post signage on their property to warn people about the dog or muzzle it when out in public.

When serious dog bites occur, attempting to collect compensation without the benefit of legal assistance is usually difficult. Bringing your case to us can provide you with peace of mind and allow you to heal from your injuries as our attorneys build a case to win you the compensation you deserve.

What Types of Compensation Can You Get From a Dog Bite Case? 

After you experience a serious dog bite in New York State, you have up to three years to file a personal injury case. Reaching out to our attorneys as soon as possible allows us to build your case well before the statute of limitations and examine the case from all angles to include the value of each type of loss you incurred.

Loss of Wages 

A serious dog bite can affect your employment and cause you to miss work because of pain, an inability to perform tasks because of nerve damage to hand injuries and time missed because of necessary medical treatment or therapy. If you can no longer work because of pain or new mobility issues stemming from a dog attack, our attorneys can add the value of future lost wages to your dog bite case.

Medical Costs 

Some larger dogs can inflict grave injuries because of their large jaws and their bite force. While any dog bite can result in injury, larger breeds may bite, hang on or shake their heads violently as they bite down, including:

  • Rottweilers 
  • Pitbulls 
  • Chow Chows 

Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may need extensive treatment, including future surgeries that can cost thousands of dollars. Our attorneys will review medical costs and doctor reports to prove your financial losses.

Emotional Trauma 

A sudden dog attack can cause emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. These conditions interfere with daily life, as you may experience a constant sense of impending danger and fear of dogs. If a dog bite to the face leaves you disfigured, you may develop depression about your permanent injuries.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life 

A dog attack can result in injuries that affect your ability to enjoy life as you did before the incident. Physical injuries may prevent you from taking pleasure in hobbies you used to enjoy. The amount of this compensation varies depending on the severity and permanence of your trauma.

Pain and Suffering 

This is a loss different from actual, or compensatory damages. Pain and suffering include the inconvenience the pain of a dog bite cost, how much pain you experienced and any emotional pain you might experience from the attack. These might include the discomfort of treatment and the anguish you experience from flashbacks or dreams of the attack.

What Are Punitive Damages? 

Our attorneys may request punitive damages if the behavior of the attacking dog’s owner was especially negligent or reckless. A judge may hand down these damages to punish the defendant and deter future negligence. For example, if an owner tried to hide a dog’s bite history, allowed it to roam the streets and it attacked you, a judge may award you punitive damages.

Is There a Set Amount for a Dog Bite Settlement? 

Because no two dog bite cases are alike, each case value depends on the circumstances of the attack. Our attorneys review the cost of your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering to build the foundation of a case based on a variety of sources.

Police Reports 

Accessing police reports related to your dog bite can provide proof that the circumstances put the dog owner at fault. For instance, a police report can prove the owner failed to restrain an aggressive dog with proper fencing and whether the animal is current on its vaccinations.

Witness Statements 

Our attorneys will speak to any witnesses who were present when a dog attacked. They can verify whether the dog left its property to attack or whether it was roaming around. Proof of negligence on behalf of the owner can help our lawyers meet the burden of proof when the case goes to court.

Property Photos 

Photos of the owner’s property that provide proof an aggressive dog was not properly fenced can prove negligent behavior. Broken or weak fencing, outdated latches and fencing the dog can jump easily are all useful in a dog bite case.

Veterinary Reports 

In many cases, authorities may seize a biting dog and quarantine it to ensure it did not transmit any dangerous diseases. A vet may also provide information about the animal’s vaccination history, and a lack of such can prove negligence on behalf of the owner. New York State law requires that all dogs receive rabies vaccinations, and owners who cannot provide proof may receive a fine.

Contact Us Today With Your Dog Bite Case 

When a serious dog bite occurs, it can alter your life in ways you never thought possible. The stress of recouping your losses can make the situation worse, but you do not have to struggle alone. Contact us at Cellino Law today and our attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve.

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