According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, as many as 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog every year in the United States. One out of five of those people require medical attention. These statistics show just how serious being bitten by a dog is, but the situation you are facing after being bitten could be far more worrisome than your physical injuries.
When you file a personal injury claim after being bitten by a canine, your attorney will of course need to know your injuries and what medical treatment was required. However, these types of personal injury claims have another component, which is pain and suffering. Here is a look at some of the reasons pain and suffering could be a part of your dog bite personal injury claim.
You Were Especially Traumatized by the AttackBeing attacked by a domestic animal even one time can create a lot of emotional problems. Because dogs are such a common pet, they are found roaming neighborhoods, in your family members' homes and maybe even in your own backyard. The attack you've been through can create a lot of stress in your everyday life if you frequently encounter other dogs.
If the incident has left you with severe anxiety around dogs, an inability to do normal activities like jogging or post-traumatic stress of any form, it is something you need to talk to your attorney about. This criteria could be used to determine if you are eligible for pain and suffering damages.
Your Dog Bite Injury Is Severe or DisfiguringOne dog bite can lead to severe pain that is ongoing, especially if the wound becomes infected, which is always a possibility because of bacteria in the dog's mouth. If this infection is not caught in time, it can get into your bloodstream and lead to dire health consequences and even amputation.
Disfigurement means that the dog's bite has permanently left you with marks on your body because of tissue loss. For example, if a dog bit you on the face and you now have a massive scar that you have to live with, this would be considered disfigurement.
Pain and suffering compensation can be assumed in some cases because of the sheer level of pain that your injury has caused or will continue to cause in the future. You may be awarded pain and suffering compensation if the incident left you disfigured because you’ll have to contend with this change in your appearance for the rest of your life.
Your Dog Bite Injury Led to Dramatic Life ChangesIt is always possible for one personal injury to affect a major aspect of your life, especially dog bite injuries. A few examples of major life changes that could be part of your pain and suffering claim would include things like:
- You lost your job because the dog bite left you permanently disabled
- Your significant other left you because of your severe depression or anxiety
- You were forced to relocate because of your new fear of dogs in your neighborhood
If something drastic changed about your life specifically because of the dog bite incident, you should mention it to your attorney when filing your personal injury claim. In some situations, these repercussions will be used when determining eligibility for pain and suffering.
It is easy to look at a dog bite personal injury claim as a straightforward process involving the payment of your medical bills, but depending on the situation, you may be entitled to more compensation. Contact us at Carlson, Blau & Clemens SC if you have been injured by a dog.