emotional damages caused by dog bitesThe majority of accidents or incidents resulting in personal injury are traumatic to some extent.  However, not many are as traumatic as a vicious dog of imminent danger experienced before and during the attack, but also living with painful, and often permanent, injuries caused by the attack, can leave the victim scarred for life.  Luckily, victims can also recover for the emotional damages caused by dog bites.
Compensation for pain and suffering following a dog attack
In nearly every case, the harm suffered during a dog attack reaches far beyond the mere physical injury.  In addition to medical expenses and other economic damages, victims of dog bites often suffer a wide variety of non-economic damages.  These types of damages are also referred to as emotional damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish and  emotional distress.
Examples of non-economic damages recoverable for dog bites
The laws of each state may differ regarding the specific types of non-economic or emotional damages that can be recovered in dog bite cases.  Also, every situation is different, so, depending on the nature of the attack and the severity of the injury and damages, the extent of emotional damages that may recovered may differ, as well.  Some common examples of possible damages include the following:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Long-lasting fear of dogs
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life

There are also certain factors that go into calculating the value of an individual’s emotional damages.
Factors used to calculate emotional damages
There are several different factors that insurance companies and courts look at to determine the value of emotional damages in dog bite cases, and personal injury cases in general.  It can be difficult to put a monetary value on a non-tangible injury, such as pain and suffering.  Some common factors include:

  • The extent of emotional trauma
  • Whether the physical injuries will completely heal
  • The length of the recovery process
  • How the injuries affect the victim’s livelihood
  • Effects on family life and social interactions
  • Likelihood of permanent disability or physical impairment

How do I prove my emotional damages?
Though emotional damages are more difficult to prove, providing medical records and reports from counselors, psychologists, and other medical professionals goes a long way to establishing the extent of your injuries. Emotional damages can still be tough to establish, however, a personal injury attorney with both an understanding of this area of the law, and experience pursuing these types of claims, can guide you through these types of claims.
If you have questions regarding dog bites, emotional damages, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
To learn more, please download our free Missouri dog bites report here.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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