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Michigan tort law acknowledges not only the physical injuries but also the emotional distress suffered by dog bite victims. These non-economic damages are commonly referred to as pain and suffering. While intangible, they can be every bit as devastating as their economic counterparts.

Read on to learn about the importance of understanding pain and suffering damages in dog bite claims, so you can seek every dollar you deserve.


Defining Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages encompass the emotional distress, psychological trauma, and overall decrease in quality of life that result from a dog bite. More specifically, they include physical pain, anxiety, depression, and even the fear of dogs that persists long after the physical wounds have healed.

Quantifying Pain and Suffering

Determining the monetary value of pain and suffering can be complex. Factors like the severity of the injuries and the impact they have on your daily life will play a part in evaluating these damages. Thankfully, there are two widely accepted approaches for quantifying pain and suffering when building a dog bite claim: the per diem method and the multiplier method.

The per diem method calculates pain and suffering damages on a daily basis, assigning a specific dollar amount to each day the victim experiences pain and emotional distress. This method is straightforward and can be more easily understood by jurors.

The multiplier method, on the other hand, multiplies the victim’s economic damages (such as medical expenses and lost wages) by a certain figure, which is determined based on relevant factors. The multiplier method allows for a more flexible approach, accounting for the unique circumstances of each case.

Both methods serve as tools to help courts and juries assign a monetary value to pain and suffering, ensuring that victims are compensated not only for their tangible losses but also for the emotional toll of their injuries. The choice between these methods often depends on the specifics of the case and the legal jurisdiction in which the claim is being pursued.

Proving Pain and Suffering

When it comes to proving pain and suffering, journal entries detailing the victim’s daily experiences, emotional struggles, and physical discomfort can serve as compelling evidence. These entries provide a firsthand account of the impact the injuries have on the victim’s life.

Additionally, psychological evaluations conducted by qualified experts can further support the claim for pain and suffering. These evaluations assess the victim’s emotional well-being, revealing the extent of anxiety, depression, and other psychological effects resulting from the injuries. Combined, journal entries and psychological evaluations provide a comprehensive and compelling case for pain and suffering, allowing the court or jury to better understand and acknowledge the emotional toll experienced by the victim.

Speak with a Michigan Dog Bite Attorney

Recovering from a dog bite can be a long and emotionally challenging journey. At Smith & Johnson, we’re dedicated to providing compassionate guidance and legal expertise to dog bite victims in Michigan.

We recognize the pain and suffering that often accompanies physical injuries, and we’re committed to helping you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact Tim Smith ( or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Michigan.