Neighbors German Shepard got out ran acroos the street and bit me on the side. Two puncture wounds and developed a tennis ball sized bruise. Doctor treated me with antibiotics.
You have a right to be compensated for your medical treatment (past and future) as well as for the pain and suffering related to your injuries. You also have a right to be compensated for any permanent scars resulting from the dog bite. Take photos of the injury immediately and if you have a permanent scar, you will need to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon to assess your options for future care and the cost of that treatment. Make sure a report was filed with Animal Control and speak to an attorney right away. Best of luck!
The settlement amount, in just about every personal injury case (including yours), really depends on several factors, which include (but, are not limited to) the following: the nature, extent & severity of your injuries; the amount of medical bills & lost wages you have incurred; your age; and, so on. Using such information, your lawyer (that is, assuming that you have hired one to handle your case) should be able to give you some idea of the average settlement amount in a dog bite case, such as yours. However, in the event that you have not hired an attorney to guide you with this matter, then it'd be very wise of you do so (especially since an attorney is much more likely to get you a fair settlement amount than you, by yourself, are).
If you are bitten and injured by a dog in California, the owner of the dog is responsible for your damages. Civil Code Section 3342(a) states that "the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness." Usually, a person's homeowner's insurance will cover the damage. You should continue to take care of your injuries appropriately as well as consult an attorney to discuss your case.
I live and work in California and deal with accidents like yours, so I am happy to answer your question. The answer to your question is that it sounds like your case has not been developed enough. Have you seen a plastic surgeon regarding the scars? What have they said? Are they permanent? Regardless, you'll probably get a better settlement with an attorney, some dog bites cases can be worth in excess of $100,000. The attorney you hire can likely refer you to a doctor, if you ask for one, who will see you with no upfront payment! I've done this many times to help my clients out. You should not wait a single day to hire a lawyer, we will advise you on the strategy of your case and get you a rental if you need one.
You have some great facts, but your case definitely needs to be developed further to corroborate your story. You should hire an attorney so you're not bullied around! There is no upfront cost to hire an attorney. With a case like yours it seems like you have some good facts in order to get a high settlement. The most important thing when building your case are: liability (were you at fault in any way); how bad are your injuries to your body ; and of course how high is the at fault person's policy. A lot of these things sound like they are not complete yet in your case so its something that is worth hiring an attorney for in order to get a sense of whether you have a case and what the strategy would be for you to build a strong case! I've handled many of these cases in the Pico Rivera area.
"Average" settlement is not a useful metric for determining the value of any one case. Dog bite cases in particular turn on the unique injuries (emotional, physical, tissue scars, etc.) of the claimant and the strength of the facts that give rise to liability. Only an experienced personal injury attorney, upon consultation and review of all relevant facts and medical records, can provide a reliable opinion.
I'm sorry to hear about your injury. Dog attacks can be very scary. I have handled many cases like this in California so I can tell you that it is very difficult to answer your question with a definite number. Every incident is different and many variables can affect your final settlement amount. The one thing I can say for sure is that an experienced accident attorney can dramatically help your claim.
This is especially true in cases like yours where you've been harmed by your neighbors dog. It can sometimes be difficult to obtain insurance information from a stubborn neighbor. An attorney will have the resources to track down this information and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best settlement possible. Consultations are free, so you have nothing to lose by getting a case evaluation over the phone.
Otherwise it sounds like you have obtained the necessary medical attention. It's important to monitor the bite and if you show any signs of infection, please go for a follow up visit right away. It's also important to call your local animal control and complete an incident report, if you have not done so already. This can help prevent future attacks. If this is the dog's first black mark, most likely scenario is that it will be put on quarantine where the owner must keep it off the streets for a set period of time. Filing an incident report is also crucial for establishing your injury claim.
Every single case is different and viewed on its own merits both from liability and damages standpoint. However, dog bite laws in CA are generally very favorable towards victim. The real fight is often over injuries and how much is case worth. Be sure and take good pictures, and lots of them. I know with all of my dog bite cases we aim high and you should too.
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