If you or your child were bitten by a dog, it is likely that the attack happened at the speed of lightning, and there was little or no time to react. (Studies comparing dog and human reflexes have proven that our reaction time is no match for our canine companions.)
For that reason, you may have been unable to shield your neck and face, leaving you vulnerable to an attack on your upper body. This is especially true if you were in one of the following positions:
- Lying on the ground
- In a sitting position
- Face-to-face height with the dog
Sadly, these types of prone positions are why we often see babies or young children sustain severe neck and/or facial bites.
Due to the physical and psychological trauma that facial dog bites can inflict, you may have also incurred significant medical bills and require various types of ongoing treatment.
With those facts in mind, it is important you understand how to properly calculate the value of your dog bite facial injury and scar case. Otherwise, it is possible you will not receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Factors that Affect the Value of a Dog Bite Facial Scar Case
First, we highly recommend that you do not speak with the insurance company until you have consulted with an experienced Indianapolis dog bite attorney. Providing an adjuster with a recorded statement or other evidence can negatively affect the value of your case.
Before assigning a specific dollar amount to your case, Attorney Matt Boulton will analyze a number of strategic factors that will increase or decrease your dog bite facial scar, including:
- Proving liability – With regard to dog bite cases, Indiana is known for its “one-bite rule.” Some people believe this rule gives every dog a “free bite” before the owner can be found liable, which is untrue. In fact, Matt’s aim for every dog bite case is to place full liability on the dog owner, thus helping to ensure you receive the maximum amount for your claim.
- Size and location of the scar – In most instances, the larger the scar and/or more prominent the location, the more valuable the case. This can be an especially important factor if the scar affects the movement or function of an area on your face, such as the mechanics of your eyes or lips.
- Age of the victim – Insurance companies understand that a jury’s sympathy will naturally play a larger role in determining the value of a case if the dog bite case involves a baby or young child. This is one reason it is possible that your baby or child’s case could prove to be worth significantly more than an adult’s claim.
- Medical bills – Not only will your current medical bills be a factor in determining the value of your case, but it is also important that we have a full understanding of any future care that might be required, such as scar revision, cognitive or physical therapy, etc.
- Plastic surgeon’s analysis – Scar revision continues to see incredible advances, however, it does take time for a wound to fully heal. For this reason, our office works closely with surgeons to gather analysis on how much improvement the bite victim should expect and how many surgeries may be required to achieve full correction. A plastic surgeon’s analysis can have a significant effect on the value of dog bite facial scar cases.
In addition to satisfying the above factors, your attorney will also conduct an insurance search on your behalf. Surprisingly, finding one or more applicable policies to cover your medical bills and damages can be especially difficult without an experienced attorneys’ assistance.
Once an insurance policy is secured, your attorney will then request a copy of the coverage(s) to determine the total amount of money that is available for recovery purposes.
How Much is a Dog Bite Facial Injury and/or Scar Worth?
In most cases, the types of compensation your attorney will attempt to recover for your dog bite scar and injuries include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma caused by the attack (PTSD)
- Past medical expenses
- Future costs of plastic surgery and/or therapies
- Lost wages
Ultimately, every person’s facial scar from a dog bite will have a unique value, as the injury and case details are never the same for any two people. For this reason, there is no single formula that can be used to arrive at an exact value.
However, because dig bite liability is often covered under larger policies, such as homeowner’s coverage, these cases have the potential to be especially valuable.
Insurance companies offer a variety of coverage amounts, some as low as $100,000 while other policies may provide up to $500,000+ worth of liability coverage. Not every case will be worth the entire amount of a homeowner’s policy, the larger coverage does help to ensure a dog bite victim is appropriately compensated.
Ask Matt for a Free Evaluation of Your Dog Bite Case
If you or your child have suffered injuries to your face due to a dog bite, we recommend that you ask Matt for a free evaluation of your potential claim. His experience and kindness toward the victims and families in these cases can help to put you at ease.
In addition to advising you of your legal rights, Matt can also provide you with “next steps,” answer questions about liability and insurance, and discuss plastic surgery options with you that may include scar evaluation and correction.
We understand everyone has a unique story and background, and that is why we offer all dog bite victims a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise means you will never pay for a legal consultation and you owe the firm nothing until we win your case. It is part of our aim to ensure you Get Treated Like Family.
To speak with Matt today, call 317-350-2680, or if you prefer to write to us, you can use our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews every contact received at our firm.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we might be able to help you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.