A dog is man’s best friend—until it bites someone. Dogs that never bit anyone could turn on someone, including a family member, if they are injured, don’t feel well, or if someone has been teasing the dog. Even minor dog bites could require stitches and could become infected. After a dog bite, you should always seek medical attention, regardless of how minor it is. Reach out to a Fargo dog bite lawyer.
After seeking medical attention, a person bitten by a dog should also seek legal assistance, especially if the dog attacked the person and caused extensive damage or killed a loved one. The dog’s owner is responsible for your injuries—and in most cases, the homeowner’s insurance covers dog bites.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling all types of dog bite cases. Contact our firm for a free case evaluation if you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a dog bite or attack.
Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
Our firm, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, has extensive experience in dog bite cases. Your case is not just another number to us—we care about you and want to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
We also understand that you might not come to us right away. We can meet you in your hospital room or at your home, or we can arrange a video or audio case evaluation. Personal injury lawyers are used to going up against insurance companies—and the insurance companies hate seeing dog bite victims with a personal injury dog bite lawyer. The insurance companies know that they won’t use their tricks on you when you have legal representation.
We represent clients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, including those in Fargo.
No matter your injury, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are here for you. Our case evaluations are always free and without obligation. Contact one of our offices to schedule a free case evaluation.
Recovering Damages After a Dog Bite Attack in Fargo
After a dog bite, you could recover compensatory damages in the form of economic damages and non-economic damages. Some states allow you to recover punitive damages as long as you can prove the defendant’s actions or inactions were grossly negligent or intentional.
The amount you recover depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether the dog that attacked killed a loved one and your actions before the dog bite.
Most people who suffered dog bites recover economic damages, which are monetary. Sometimes called special damages, economic damages include:
Dog bites could cause extensive injuries that might require thousands of dollars—or more—in medical care.
Medical expenses include:
- Doctors’ appointments.
- Surgeries and follow-up appointments.
- Prescriptions and prescribed over-the-counter medications.
- Ambulatory aids.
- Home health care.
- Physical therapy appointments.
- Occupational therapy appointments.
- Psychological therapy appointments.
- Cognitive therapy appointments.
- Nursing home or rehabilitative care.
- Hand controls and/or wheelchair ramps or lifts for vehicles.
- Accessibility updates to your home, including but not limited to wheelchair ramps, grab bars, handrails, and widened doorways.
Loss of Income
Most people realize that they can recover compensation for the time they miss from work from the time of the accident through the time they settle or win a jury trial.
However, you could recover the loss of earning capacity if:
- You can no longer work at all for the rest of your life.
- You can work full time, but only at a job that pays much less than your previous job.
- You can only work part-time.
If you can work some, you could still recover the loss of partial earning capacity to make up for the difference.
If you lost a loved one because of a dog attack, you could recover death-related expenses, including funeral and burial expenses, cremation expenses, certain probate court expenses, and probate attorneys’ fees and costs.
Not everyone can recover non-economic damages. In most cases, you must have lost a loved one, or your injuries must cause long-term or permanent disabilities.
Non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as general damages, include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make life-long changes, such as using ambulatory aids or taking prescription drugs.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a foot or arm.
- Loss of bodily function use, such as your eyesight or bladder.
- Loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy family activities or events.
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer enjoy a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, including but not limited to grocery shopping, lawn maintenance, house cleaning, and home repair and maintenance.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
- Excessive scarring and/or disfigurement.
To recover punitive damages:
- The court must order compensatory damages. You cannot recover punitive damages if the court does not order economic or non-economic damages.
- You must prove that the defendant engaged in grossly negligent or intentional actions.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers work with you and the defendant (or the defendant’s insurance company) to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve for all the damages and/or losses you suffer.
Dog Bite Injuries
The injuries you might suffer from a dog bite depend on several factors, including the dog’s size, whether the dog bit at you because it was in pain, or it outright attacked you. Injuries also depend on whether you have injuries secondary to a dog bite, such as traumatic brain injuries because the dog knocked you over and caused you to hit your head on the pavement or sharp furniture edges.
- Bumps, bruises, cuts, scratches, scrapes, and punctures.
- Strains or sprains.
- Pulled or torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries.
- Simple or compound fractures.
- Crushed bones and other crush injuries. These are relatively rare, but you could suffer crush injuries if a large dog knocks you into traffic.
- Road rash.
- Internal injuries.
- Face and eye injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
- Infections from the bite or surgical wounds.
A dog bite injury could also cause existing injuries or illnesses to worsen. In this case, the dog’s owner or insurance company is also responsible for extra medical expenses and pain and suffering you would not have otherwise suffered if not for the dog attack.
Fighting the Insurance Company
Instead of arguing with the insurance company, you should concentrate on recovering. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can do that for you. The insurance company will want to see photos of your injuries and will ask you for a statement.
Since insurance companies are in business to make money, they’ll try anything to deny a claim. Barring that, they’ll offer you the least amount possible. It would help if you allowed a dog bite lawyer to give the insurance company a statement on your behalf.
One of the tricks the insurance company uses is to twist your words, blaming your injuries on you so they can deny your claim or offer you a pittance. It’s harder to do that when an attorney submits your statement, as an experienced attorney knows what to say and what not to say.
Another trick the insurance company uses is to admit its client is at fault. The insurance company then tells you it can only pay a certain amount, which is almost always a lie. Insurance companies use several tricks to “convince” you that you shouldn’t receive the compensation you deserve—all in the name of keeping their profits up.
Finally, because the insurance company thinks a layperson doesn’t know the law, it believes it can get away with paying the least amount possible or even denying a valid claim. Insurance companies are less likely to try that with an attorney because they know an attorney will drop settlement negotiations and move to litigation. Most people who don’t have an attorney backing them cave in, accept the insurance company’s lowball offer, and won’t litigate.
Insurance companies know this and play it to the hilt. When you retain an experienced dog bite lawyer, insurance companies know the firm won’t hesitate to litigate, especially a firm like Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers with the funds to cover the cost of litigation. Thus, they are more likely to offer a fair and reasonable settlement sooner rather than later.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Incident
At this point, you should have already seen a doctor and received treatment plans. You can help your case by keeping a journal starting from the day of the dog attack. Always keep every appointment unless it’s a dire emergency—the defendant’s insurance company will look for reasons to say that your injuries are not as bad as you say, and missing appointments is one.
Also, keep all receipts for co-pays, prescriptions, and other medical costs. The only way to recover compensation for out-of-pocket expenses is to show receipts.
It would be best if you kept notes about several things in your daily journal, including:
- How you feel throughout the day, including your pain level.
- Which doctor’s appointment you had on a specific day, and a summary of what you and your doctor discussed. If you see a psychiatrist, you should also document that.
- The actions that you or someone else on your behalf take to care for your wounds.
- A progress diary for physical therapy.
If you cannot keep a diary for yourself, a caretaker should document everything.
Finally, refrain from posting anything about the accident on social media. In fact, do not to post at all—the insurance company scours social media accounts for photos and posts about what you are doing. They could even use an innocent dinner with your spouse to say your injuries aren’t bad if you can go out to eat.
When you see a dog bite lawyer about your case, this information could help your case—you won’t have to worry about forgetting any important details.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers
A dog bite attack not only causes physical injuries, but it could also cause psychological injuries, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people fall into depression if injuries take too long to heal or when injuries turn into long-term or permanent disabilities. Reach out to a Fargo personal injury lawyer.
Instead of hassling with an insurance company, a dog bite lawyer can help you fight the insurance company so you can concentrate on becoming as physically and emotionally well as you can.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers- Fargo Office
1630 1st Ave N Suite B
Fargo, ND 58102-4246