When dealing with a facial dog bite case, there are a few factors that can be quite important in the overall outcome of the case, separate and apart from establishing liability (responsibility, negligence, carelessness, etc.) of the dog owner.
It is very important to have photographs taken at various stages of the dog bite and during the recovery period. Visual evidence can be an extremely powerful tool in helping the plaintiff get a fair recovery from a jury, as well as an insurance company and its defense attorneys.
Because of the heightened risk of infection from this type of injury, it is also very important to obtain competent, qualified medical care for the dog bite wound(s). It may even be necessary to consult with a plastic surgeon. A jury, and in turn, an insurance company and its defense attorneys, will typically expect you to undertake all reasonable efforts to return your face to its condition before the dog bite, and will even undervalue any claims of long-term visible injuries if they can hire a doctor to testify that the scarring, deformity, discoloration and like could be remedied with a “simple” medical procedure.
Surprisingly, a dog bite wound may be worth more or less depending on the gender of the victim! Indeed, juries tend to award more for a female who has suffered scarring or other visible injury to her face than for a male who has suffered the same or similar injury. In turn, insurance companies and their defense attorneys follow suit and generally pay less to males than to females for these visible injuries. I wonder whether this if very fair to male victims, especially for child victims, who still go through the same amount of fear, nightmares, flashbacks, and pain as female victims, not to mention the same risk of infection. Hopefully, juries will be a little more considerate of the plight of male victims, rather than relying on the old adage that “chicks dig scars”.
The law firm of Heiting & Irwin has over 100 years combined experience representing the interests of people who have been harmed by the actions of others. We offer free consultations, a warm and inviting office, and a friendly staff to anyone interested in speaking about a potential legal matter. If you would like to speak with someone about your circumstances, please call our office at (951) 682-6400 for a free consultation.