Needless to say, being bitten by a dog is a frightening thing to go through. Those who suffered a dog bite which left a wound behind may wonder whether their injury is severe enough to require immediate medical care. When in doubt, it is best to see a doctor to prevent the injury from getting worse or developing an infection. Someone who was attacked by a dog and had done nothing to provoke such a reaction may want to meet with a dog bite lawyer, like a dog bite lawyer in Woodland Hills, CA, about seeking compensation from the owner. Many people don’t realize that they could be entitled to restitution for their medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and more.
What are the dog bite severity grades?
A dog bite injury can range anywhere from no lacerations but some minor bruising, to puncture wounds where emergency medical care is required. Even if you believe that your injuries aren’t serious, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still see a doctor. You don’t need to have sustained a life-threatening dog bite in order to qualify for compensation in a lawsuit against the owner. Any instance where a dog attack left a physical, financial, or psychological scar may be grounds for legal action.
The injuries of a dog bite are categorized into different levels of severity:
- Grade 1: bruising and scratches, but no punctures
- Grade 2: bite marks, but no punctures
- Grade 3: puncture wounds which broke skin
- Grade 4: puncture wounds which not only broke skin, but also ripped tissue
- Grade 5: several puncture wounds
- Grade 6: fatality
While rare, it is possible for someone to succumb to their injuries because of a dog bite and pass away. Surviving family members of the victim can bring forward a case against the dog owner for justice of their deceased loved one. In such sensitive and complex cases such as this, it is highly recommended that obtaining a seasoned lawyer in personal injury cases is hired as representation.
If I am eligible for a dog bite lawsuit, what damages may I receive?
It isn’t fair that victims of dog bites have to pay expensive medical bills and endure other losses because a dog owner was irresponsible. Victims shouldn’t have to pay the price for another’s failure to protect the public. Injured victims can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent or temporary disability or disfigurement
- Medical expenses (hospitalization, treatments, surgery, medication, etc.)
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
How can I prepare for a dog bite lawsuit?
One of the best things victims can do to prepare for legal action against the dog owner is to gather evidence of the accident and resulting injuries. Photographs of your injuries, statements from witnesses who saw the bite happen, video or voice recordings of conversation with owner, and receipts for medical bills can all be very influential in the outcome of your lawsuit.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation for their insight into determining the severity of a dog bite injury.