How Much Is My Dog Bite Claim Worth?

Getting bit by a dog can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. In addition to the pain and suffering that accompany any kind of animal attack, dog bites can result in exorbitant medical bills and quite a few missed paychecks, among other losses.

If you were attacked by a dog and you want to hold the owner or handler accountable, you’re probably wondering how much your claim is worth. Here are the kinds of factors that can have the biggest influence on the value of your dog bite claim:

1. The Severity of Your Injuries

The extent of the physical damage that the dog caused will be one of the most significant factors in determining the how much your claim is worth. Victims who suffer permanent nerve damage, for example, can seek considerably more compensation than those who sustain minor lacerations and are expected to make a full recovery.

2. The Total Cost of Your Medical Bills

The cost of stabilizing your condition and then treating your injuries will also have a major impact on the potential value of your claim. This includes not only the cost of the initial treatment, but also the expenses associated with any ongoing medical care or rehabilitation you’re going to need in the weeks and months following the attack.

3. The Amount of Work You Miss

If your injuries kept you out of work, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated lost wages. This includes not only the time you missed immediately following the attack but also any lost earning capacity you incur if you’re unable to return to the job force at all.

4. The Extent of Any Scarring or Disfigurement

If the dog bite resulted in permanent scarring or disfigurement, you can account for its impact on the quality of your life going forward. Michigan tort law recognizes the fact that when it comes to dog bites, the associated non-economic damages can be just as devastating as the economic losses.

5. The Total Available Liability Coverage

In Michigan, dog owners are generally liable for any injuries caused by their pets, regardless of whether the animal in question has a history of aggression. However, the value of your claim may be limited by the dog owner’s liability insurance coverage, assuming they have an active policy.

6. The Animal’s History of Aggression

If the dog has a history of attacking people, it could impact the value of your claim. This may be evidence of the owner’s negligence in controlling the animal and, depending on the circumstances, may even warrant a punitive award in addition to the standard compensatory damages.

Discuss Your Case with a Dog Bite Attorney in Michigan

If you were attacked by someone else’s dog and you don’t know where to turn, you can count on the compassionate and strategic team at Smith & Johnson. We have been representing injured parties since 1965. Call 231-946-0700 or complete the Contact Form on our website to schedule a free case review with a dog bite lawyer in Michigan.