If the actions of a dog owner were egregious or grossly negligent or were made with intention of harming the injured party, punitive damage could apply. If you are interested in learning more about calculating damages in Clearwater dog bite cases, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Types of Recoverable Damages in Dog Bite Cases
Economic damages are past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, and any extra help a person must hire to mow the lawn or do anything else they are not able to do as a result of the injury. Those are economic damages that a person can actually put a number on and bill for.
Non-economic damages are more of an art to prove. They include pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Punitive damages are intended to punish and teach a lesson to the owner of the dog. It means they might have engaged in some type of reckless behavior. Punitive damages are only appropriate in certain cases.
Calculating Dog Bite Case Damages
The more severe the injury, such as broken bones, nerve damage, puncture wounds, infection, permanent scarring, and plastic surgery requirements, the more the amount of damages increases. Economic damages get calculated to a scientific number. This is the number a person can put down on paper adding up their medical bills, lost wages, etc. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate because they deal with witnesses, describing what a person has gone through since the accident, and all the pain and suffering they had to struggle through.
Role of the Jury and Litigation
Each lawyer will describe to the jury what they believe the damages are, and the jury will have to make their own calculations in the jury room. When they come back with the verdict, It does not have to be what the lawyer described to them.
Usually, a person can have either a medical expert or an economic expert who will go through exactly what was lost in the case. Damages are also demonstrated by witnesses and their testimony in front of the jury. Calculations are also presented by the attorney in trial during closing statements. The numbers are broken down in front of the jury before they make their decision.
Common Mistakes and Misconceptions
Many people think they must prove that the dog was dangerous before they can recover in a dog bite case, which is not the case anymore in Florida. It used to be a lot more expensive to litigate dog bite cases when a person had to prove that the dog was dangerous or had bitten someone in the past. It is easier to try these cases now because of strict liability.
By hiring an experienced attorney, a person can navigate the difficult process of filing and calculating damages in Clearwater dog bite cases. All a person should worry about is pursuing medical treatment and recovering from their dog bite injury. The person should call an attorney and let them handle the legal aspects of the case.