What Kinds of Damages Can You Include in a Dog Bite Claim?

If you were bit by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated damages. The total amount you can seek will depend on the severity of your injuries and the laws in the state where the attack occurred.

In Michigan, for example, dog bite victims can pursue funds for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are those that are tangible and can be easily quantified. Non-economic losses are those that are more difficult to quantify because they’re intangible and don’t have a corresponding dollar amount.

Let’s take a closer look at the specific damages you may be able to include in a dog bite claim in Michigan:

Economic Damages

Economic damages make up a significant portion of most personal injury payouts and can be proven using dated documentation like receipts, bills, and invoices. Examples include:

  1. Medical Expenses

The cost of the care associated with treating your injuries, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, and physical therapy, is recoverable.

  1. Lost Wages

If you’re unable to work while recovering from your dog bite injuries, you may be able to include every missed paycheck in your personal injury claim.

  1. Property Damage

If the dog damaged any personal property in the attack, like clothing or glasses, you can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing it.

Non-Economic Damages

Michigan tort law recognizes the fact that a victim’s non-monetary losses can be just as devastating as their monetary damages. As such, injured parties can include the following in their claims:

  1. Pain and Suffering

You may seek funds for any physical pain you experience over the course of your recovery. You can use medical records, doctor’s statements, and personal journal entries to demonstrate the extent of your suffering.

  1. Emotional Distress

Getting bitten by a dog is an inherently traumatic experience. If you suffer from depression or anxiety in the aftermath, you can account for such distress when putting together your damages claim.

  1. Disfigurement

Animal attacks often cause permanent scarring. If your injuries leave you disfigured in any way, you can seek additional compensation to cover the devastating psychological impact of the scars.

Punitive Damages

Most dog bite claims do not warrant punitive damages, but there are scenarios in which they may be called for. In addition to the compensatory damages listed above, you may be entitled to a punitive award if the animal’s owner or handler acted with malice or a willful disregard for your rights. For example, if they encouraged the dog to attack without any provocation, you could likely make the case that their actions were malicious.

Call 231-946-0700 to Speak with a Dog Bite Attorney in Michigan

If you were attacked by someone else’s dog and you want to file a claim in pursuit of damages, turn to Smith & Johnson. We’re determined to see every claim through to the end, even if that means going all the way to court. Call 231-946-0700 or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a dog bite lawyer in Michigan.