Getting bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. The lasting physical and psychological scars of an animal attack can take a massive toll on you. Furthermore, the cost of treating the injuries you received can be difficult because of how unanticipated these costs are. As someone bitten the dog of a negligent owner, you have the right to pursue potential damages. If you want to know more about how damages are determined in Clearwater dog bite cases, get in touch with a skilled dog lawyer who can answer your questions and fight for you.
Types of Damages
An individual who has been bitten by a dog can receive economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, depending on the action of the owners, they might receive punitive damages against the owner. 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.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.
An attorney calculates a person’s economic damages 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. This amount is harder to calculate, but an experienced attorney has methods.
How damages are determined in Clearwater dog bite cases is, 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.
During litigation, 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 the trial during closing statements.
The numbers are broken down in front of the jury before they make their decision. If the actions of the owner were egregious or grossly negligent or were made with intention of harming the injured party, then punitive damages could apply. There is no complete bar that would keep the plaintiff from being awarded full compensation unless they find out the plaintiff was lying.
Hiring a Lawyer
One common misconception that people have is that they 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.
When it comes to understanding how damages are determined in Clearwater dog bite cases, and beginning the process of pursuing damages, a lawyer can be an invaluable asset. By hiring an experienced attorney, a person can navigate the difficult process of filing a claim and/or going to trial. 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.