Suffering injuries in a vicious dog attack can be a traumatic experience. From the fear of imminent danger to living with the permanent damage caused by the attack, there are numerous ways that dog bite injuries can leave a lasting emotional impression. Fortunately, as with all types of personal injury claims, New Jersey law allows dog attack victims to recover financial compensation for their pain and suffering.
Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress from Dog Attacks
If you are a victim of a vicious dog attack, you know that the harm suffered in such attacks reaches far beyond physical injuries. If you are the parent or close family member of a dog bite victim, you know the same realities all too well.
In addition to medical bills and lost wages, dog bite victims also suffer a variety of types of “non-economic” (or emotional) damages. These emotional damages are generally grouped under terms such as “pain and suffering,” mental anguish, and emotional distress.
New Jersey law recognizes the rights of dog bite victims – and in some cases, their family members – to recover non-economic damages. In a case involving a serious dog bite, these may include
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Depression and anxiety
• Lasting fear of dogs or going outdoors
• Permanent scarring or disfigurement
• Reduced quality of life
Of course, each situation is unique. Depending on the nature of the attack and the severity of the emotional toll, the available non-economic damages can vary significantly.
Factors Affecting Damage Calculations for Pain and Suffering
When assessing a dog bite injury claim, attorneys, insurance companies, and the courts consider a number of different factors. It is not easy to put a dollar figure on emotional distress. However, it can be done. Every day, dog owners, landlords, and insurance companies fight lawsuits and settle claims for emotional damages arising out of dog bite injuries.
The following are some of the factors that can come into play.
• The extent of emotional trauma
• Whether the physical injuries will fully heal
• The length of the recovery process
• Whether there will be any permanent disability or physical impairment
• Effects on family life and social interactions
• How the injuries (physical and emotional) will affect the victim’s livelihood
Proving emotional damages requires medical records and opinions from counselors, psychologists, and other medical professionals. These cases can often become complex, and when they do, they require both a thorough understanding of the law and specific experience pursuing similar claims in insurance settlements and litigation. As a result, if you are seeking compensation for emotional damages from a dog attack, it is best to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.
Speak with a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo
The lawyers at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo represent dog bite injury victims in the State of New Jersey. To speak with an experienced attorney about your case, contact the firm today by calling our office or filling out the online contact form.