What Types Of Damages Are Available In A Dog Bite Case?
A dog bite can be a very traumatic experience in a person’s life and can have lasting effects on their emotional and physical wellbeing. In case the worst does happen, there are safeguards to ensure that the victim, and in certain cases, their family, will be well compensated.
Types of Compensation
Dog bite cases usually include two types of compensation. Damages are either awarded for Economic losses, or Non-Economic losses. The former include tangible losses that can be measured, while the latter deals with emotional trauma.
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Diminished Future Earnings
- Life care
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Family members of the attack victim are entitled to compensation if the victim passes away as a result of their injuries. Their family can sue for “Wrongful Death”, if they can establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim died as a direct result of injuries sustained from the dog attack.
Who Will Pay My Dog Bite Injury Damages?
While most personal injury cases are pretty straight forward, dog bite cases tend to be slightly complicated since, in most cases, the dog owner is usually a friend and/or a neighbor. This discourages the victims of these attacks to lodge a complaint or take any legal action what so ever. However, these days, most responsible parties opt to carry insurance for exactly these kinds of cases.
Some of the different kinds of insurances available are:
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance – These kinds of insurance policies usually protect the homeowner in case their dog inflicts an injury on another party. This will protect the dog owner even if the attack occurred off their property. However, recently, insurance companies have been avoiding these particular policies all together, or are refusing to issue these policies for certain breeds of dogs, e.g. Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.
Personal Umbrella Liability Policies – These types of insurance policies cover every liability that is directly related to the owner of the policy. This may also include dog bites, even if they are not covered in their homeowner’s policy.
Auto Liability Insurance – This policy will cover a dog bite only if the dog in question was either in, or in the general vicinity of the dog owner’s vehicle. A famous example is that of a dog that attacked a woman, while he was tied to the hood of a car. In this instance, the auto insurance carrier was forced to cover the dog injury claim.
Dog Owner Insurance – This policy deals directly with dog bites and attacks, and even though it contains strict guidelines in order for it to come into effect, it protects dog owners from liability in such situations.
These policies cover most dog owners, except for established businesses, or professional breeders and veterinarians who are covered by Commercial or Professional General Liability Insurance. In any case, if you find yourself on the receiving end of a dog bite, then consult your local personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, in order to maximize your final compensation package.