If you suffered injuries in a dog attack, the dog’s owner and others could be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Figuring out how much you should receive in your settlement with their insurance company can be complicated. However, it is important to determine so you know what to expect when you enter into settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster.
Compensation You Can Obtain for Dog Bite Injuries in California
In order to know the value of your claim, you will need the help of an experienced dog bite injury attorney. They will determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to under California law while considering factors that can make your case stronger or weaker.
When figuring out the amount of money you should receive, your lawyer will calculate your past and future damages. Here are the types of compensation awarded in these cases:
- Medical expenses. You are entitled to compensation for the medical care you need to treat your injuries. This can include doctor visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, psychological counseling, and more.
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity. If you must take time off work due to your injuries, you are entitled to be compensated for your lost wages, vacation and sick time, commission, bonuses, and other perks of your job. You could recover your lost earning capacity if you have become permanently disabled due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. You should receive compensation for the pain and suffering you endure due to the dog bite and the injuries the attack caused. It can be hard to know how much money you should receive for your emotional distress without the help of a knowledgeable dog bite attorney.
- Wrongful death damages. If a loved one died due to their injuries, you can file a wrongful death action. You may be able to recover their medical expenses, reasonable funeral and burial expenses, and the damages you suffered due to your family member’s death, such as loss of their financial and emotional support.
Three Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim
In addition to calculating the compensation you are entitled to, your lawyer will determine if there are issues in your case that affect your claim’s value. Here are some common ones that could make your claim worth more or less money:
The Seriousness of Your Injuries
If you suffered long-term injuries, you will incur more medical bills and need to take more time off work—if you can return to work at all. You would also suffer a reduced quality of life. This would significantly increase the value of your claim.
Disputes About Your Claim
If there are legitimate disputes with the insurance company about their insured’s liability or how serious your injuries are, this could weaken your case and how much your claim is worth. However, you need to keep in mind that the insurance company could make up excuses that are not valid regarding why they should deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve.
If you were partially at fault for causing the dog to attack you, this could reduce the value of your claim. Under California’s pure comparative negligence law, the amount of compensation you can receive would be reduced by your percentage of blame for causing your injuries. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault, you would be entitled to 80 percent of the full value of your claim.
Get Help With Your Claim
Did a loved one or you suffer injuries due to a dog bite? Call my San Diego office to schedule a free case review to learn how much your claim is worth and how I can assist you in recovering all that you deserve in your settlement with the insurance company.