Minor dog bites still contain rabies even when they are just small wounds, but they can become fatal injuries if they are not given proper medical care immediately. For this reason, dog owners are usually held liable when their canines cause such injuries to other individuals. If you are the injured party, then you can seek for damages because of the dog bite.
Filing a Suit for Minor Dog Bites
If for instance, a dog has bitten you and caused minor wounds, can you sue for a minor dog bite? Yes, you can sue for the incident. As what has been previously mentioned, the owner of the dog can be held accountable whenever their dog acts aggressively, causing injuries or damage to property. In this legal case, however, the owner’s liabilities and the circumstances that need to be proven significantly vary based on the dog bite statutes of every state. States like District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Tennessee have dog bite laws but don’t impose strict liability on the dog owner.
However, this type of dispute does not always end up in suing dog owner for dog bite injuries. There are some cases when both parties reach a settlement where the defendant (dog owner) compensates the damages incurred due to the dog bite. But there are also instances when the injured party files a lawsuit to make sure that the owner will take full responsibility for the incident or to get the attention of the insurance company to settle the case.
Compensation for Dog Bite Cases
What can you sue for a minor dog bite? Based on most dog bite laws, suing dog owner for dog bite injuries can give you the right to recover compensation for the injuries caused by someone else’s dog. These financial claims, which can be collected through a settlement or a court trial, are usually the following:
– medical bills incurred during the treatment of the dog bite injury
– costs for the repair or replacement of the properties that were damaged when the dog bit you
– wage loss due to doctor’s appointment and/or physical therapy
– permanent disfigurement or disability because of the dog bite
– emotional distress
When a minor dog bite injury case is settled, the victim and their attorney, as well as, the dog owner and his or her insurance company will have a private negotiation where all parties involved decide on how much the compensation will be given to cover for the injury. They will also settle on who will pay the damages; either the dog owner, the insurance company or both defendant parties.
Meanwhile, when the court handles the case, all parties involved will have the chance to tell their sides of the story and show evidence in front of the presiding judge or the jury. Once they have presented everything, the adjudicators will decide on who is to be blamed for the dog bite injury. If for instance, the defendant is found to be liable for the incident, then the judge or jury will order the defendant to compensate the plaintiff based on the amount the court has decided. But even if the financial compensation has been settled, the judge can still adjust the amount on a reasonable basis, or the party at fault can appeal to decrease the damages.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Whether you choose a settlement or suing dog owner for dog bite injuries, each case its own advantages and disadvantages.
– faster way of resolving the case
– faster collection of damages that have been agreed upon
– definite emotional closure
– lower attorney fees and expenses
– compensation will not be enough
– greater satisfaction when the dog bite case becomes successful
– bigger compensation
– does not always guarantee a winning case
– higher attorney fees and expenses
– long wait before the trial can take place
– judgment and verdict become available for the public