What Damages Can You Collect From A Dog Bite And Who Pays Them?

If you suffer a dog bite, receiving compensation for your injuries could be trickier than you might think. Details, such as if it is the dog's first time biting someone, can have a bearing on how easy it is for you to collect payment. Before taking legal action, here is what you need to know.

What Damages Are You Owed?

Before asking for financial compensation, you have to calculate how much you are owed for your dog bite injuries. Obviously, you are entitled to payment for medical bills, but you can also ask for compensation for lost income if you had to miss work due to your injuries or the treatment.

Since dog bites are considered part of personal injury law, you are also entitled to receive payment for pain and suffering. Calculating exactly how much you should ask for in pain and suffering can be difficult. However, there are some factors to consider while determining the amount.

For instance, if the dog's attack was unprovoked and it had not had a rabies vaccination, you should consider asking for more.

In addition to these damages, you can also ask for loss of companionship if the injuries impacted your relationship with your spouse, partner, or other family members.

Depending on the state in which you live, an increase in damages might be possible if the dog has bitten someone before and has been labeled dangerous by local officials. Check your state's laws to determine the specific laws on multiple damages.

Who Pays?

The most obvious source of payment is the homeowner, but there is a chance that his or her homeowner's insurance might pay for the damages. Homeowner policies typically cover negligence, which would include the dog's biting you.  If the dog's owner does have coverage, file a claim and follow through with the adjuster.

It is important to note that some insurance companies have a one-bite rule. In essence, the company will pay for the first bite injury from the dog, but not any subsequent ones. If that is the case for your injury, you will need to pursue payment from the dog's owner.

If the bite occurred in a car, you can pursue a claim with the car insurance company. Whether or not you will be successful depends on your state's laws and the wording of the insurance policy.

Due to the complexities surrounding dog bite injuries, consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine the best possible way to collect payment for injuries you suffered.