Dog bite is one of the serious issues faced by Californians. Having knowledge about dog bite laws, compensations, settlements will be very useful in this scenario. A dog bite injury can be categorized into two levels; major and minor. A major injury will impair one’s physical condition such as loss of consciousness, loss of an organ, muscle tears, multiple surgeries or even death whereas minor ones can cause scars on the body of the victim.
While injuries are nearly identical, some people will receive a huge amount as compensation and some others will receive nothing. Compensation for a dog bite injury is calculated on different factors mostly on the dog owner’s insurance policy. Each dog bite case will be different due to its circumstances and reasons. So there is no special formula for calculating the compensation for a dog bite injury. However, there are some points which can make your case worth more or simply worthless. These points will give some idea about the calculation of your compensation value.
If you are a victim of dog bite injury, initially you have to consult a dog bite attorney to determine whether you have the right for compensation and find out how the compensation is calculated.
Liability of Dog Bite Settlement
In California, the one bite rule does not hold. Dog owners are the responsible person for the injuries and damages caused by their dog, both in public places and at the owner’s property. They have to pay compensations awarded by the jury for the damages and injuries caused by their dog.
Determining Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Determining the exact compensation amount for a dog bite injury is not at all possible. There is no formula for determining the compensation, but there are some factors which influence the value of the compensation amount.
In general, a victim who got badly injured has the right for compensation which includes their medical expenses associated with the incident, loss of income, nursing charges, pain, and sufferings, etc.
Dog Bite Compensation Calculator
In addition to medical expenses and loss of income associated with the incident, another amount awarded by the jury is commonly referred to as non-economic losses. Emotional stress, Physical pain, and sufferings of the victim as a result of the dog attack come under the non – economic loss.
Jury calculates this non – economic loss by determining an amount for the daily physical pain and emotional hardship suffered by the victim. Then, this calculated daily amount is multiplied by the number of days for which the pain and sufferings remained.
As there is no certainty in the number of days used for calculating non – economic losses, the exact amount of compensation will be still uncertain.
What Makes a Case Worth More?
Major injuries resulting in surgeries, disfigurement, fractures, loss of organs, etc. will increase the compensation amount received by the victim. If the victim is a breadwinner of his family, his loss of income will badly affect the living of the entire family. This loss of income, associated pain and sufferings will be also considered for compensation.
In some cases with serious dog bite injuries, the victim may take years of nursing to cure and fully recover from the injuries. Long term cost of nursing care, medicines, etc. will result in a huge figure which can be a big financial burden to the victim. Therefore serious injury victims who need long term care and assistance have to be given compensation up to their full recovery in addition to their initial medical expenses.
Location of scars sometimes makes differences in the compensation value. A scar on the face is considered as more emotionally traumatizing than a permanent scar on legs, hands or on any other non-exposed body parts.
Age of the victim is another factor for determining the compensation value. Cases involving children are given high priority and care as the emotional pain and sufferings associated with a dog attack will affect their mental strength.
What Makes a Case Worthless?
According to California’s dog bite law, the dog owner is the liable person to give compensation when his or her dog bites someone. But is the owner responsible for the provoking activities of the victim which caused the dog to bite? No, dog owners are not responsible for the dog bite cases in which provocation of the victim leads to the dog bite. This is one of the strongest points in favor of a dog owner that can make the case worthless.
In some situations, where the dog owner does not own a home, insurance companies will help the owner to compensate for dog bite injuries.
Get Legal Help
A good dog bite attorney will have deep knowledge in dog bite laws and its amendments. Their experience in dealing with similar cases will benefit you in certain ways. They will help you in collecting pieces of evidence, claiming compensation, reviewing compensatory amount offered by the dog owner, negotiating the amount by convincing the need of getting a reasonable compensation and so on.