Whether it happens at a dog park, on a walking trail, or in someone’s home, being bitten by a dog is something no one ever expects or prepares for. It’s not only frightening and traumatic, but it’s also extremely painful and can cause serious health complications.
People who are bitten by dogs often don’t know what to do or even what their options are. They’re often shocked by the cost of the treatments required to minimize the damage that dog bites can inflict, and they end up paying big money out of pocket to cover treatments that their health insurance doesn’t cover.
If you or someone you love is bitten by a dog, it’s important to know that you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to get money for your bite-related expenses. Here’s exactly what you can be compensated for after a dog bite.
Medical Bills Compensation
Dog bites can range in severity, and some people require more intensive treatment than others to recover. Some of the treatments that many dog bite victims may be billed for include:
- Ambulance ride to the hospital
- Washing and disinfection of the wounds
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Vaccination for tetanus and/or rabies
- Stitches to close the wounds
In severe cases, dog bite victims may require:
- Overnight stays in the hospital
- Surgery to repair damage to ligaments, muscles, and nerves, including potentially plastic surgery to repair disfiguring injuries
- Physical therapy for nerve damage
- Amputation when infection becomes severe and widespread
Even when victims have health insurance, their policies may be overwhelmed by all of their bills, and they may end up having to pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for their dog bite treatment costs. Thankfully, dog bite injury claims can provide compensation for victims to pay some or all of their medical bills.
Lost Wages Compensation
When people are bitten by dogs, they often experience severe pain in the areas where they were bitten. They also may lose sensation and motor control in that limb. For example, someone who is bitten on their hand may have difficulty picking up and holding objects with it both due to pain and lost coordination. For some victims, this disability lasts forever.
Dog bite victims who become temporarily or permanently unable to work because of their injuries deserve compensation both for the paychecks they’ve lost while recovering and the paychecks they will lose in the future—as well as compensation for likely promotions, bonuses, benefits, and more they lost.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
Dog bites are often sudden, violent, and painful. It’s common for dog bite victims to suffer psychological trauma from the events, including depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Some dog bite victims develop a phobia of dogs, making it difficult for them to own one or even be around them in public and private settings.
In addition, dog bite victims who become disabled or who suffer from chronic pain afterward may find it difficult or impossible to enjoy activities they once loved. They may be unable to participate in hobbies, exercise, or play with their children.
Losing the ability to enjoy life can be devastating for victims, and it’s a loss they deserve maximum compensation for.
Punitive Damages Compensation
In rare cases, victims who are injured because of other people’s extreme negligence and recklessness can be awarded punitive damages when their cases are heard by juries in civil trials. Although punitive damages are designed to punish negligent parties, the money is awarded to victims in addition to any other compensation they receive.
In the case of dog bites, victims may receive punitive damages if the dog owners led the victims into situations or areas where they were likely to be bitten, failed to restrain their dogs after they previously showed signs of aggression or biting, or even instructed their dogs to bite them.
Call Us After a Dog Bite Injury—We Want to Help You Get Compensation
A dog bite can change your life forever. Not only is it a surprisingly expensive injury to treat, but it can also be an injury that causes lifelong pain and disability. You also may experience a significant reduction in quality of life after a dog bite due to depression, anxiety, and the inability to enjoy activities you once loved.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work hard to help injured dog bite victims get the money they need to move forward with their lives. Contact our Oklahoma dog bite lawyers today for a free consultation.