Last Updated: 11/2/2023
Disfigurement from a dog bite may be associated with various damages that may be recoverable in a claim. This may include medical bills needed to treat injuries related to the disfigurement, as well as any emotional damages the victim may experience. Individuals in Iowa wishing to pursue a dog bite claim against an owner may speak with an Iowa personal injury attorney about their legal options.
A Closer Look at Disfiguring Dog Bite Injuries
Although some dog bites leave superficial wounds that require nothing more than a good cleansing, other injuries puncture or tear the skin or cause severe disfigurement. The scarring from a dog bite can cause the skin to be raised, jagged or otherwise look unnatural.
Visible wounds, such as on the face, neck, arms and hands are generally sutured to diminish scarring. Other less visible or less severe wounds on the body may be left to heal on their own.
When the damage to skin is significant, it could require skin grafting. Skin is taken from another part of the body to repair the damaged area.
Orthopedic surgery to repair broken bones may be necessary in some cases to address disfigurement caused by a dog bite or attack. It may also be necessary to have reconstructive surgery or cosmetic/plastic surgery performed depending on the nature and severity of the injuries.
In addition to concerns regarding the outward appearance of these injuries, infection is a common concern with dog bite victims. Vaccinations or other forms of treatment may be administered as a precaution.
Damages from a Permanently Disfiguring Injury
In cases of disfigurement from a dog bite, a victim may be able to recover two types of damages: economic and noneconomic. Economic is related to the medical care and treatment received, as well as other financial expenses and losses. It’s important to take into consideration not only current bills but any future expenses if additional surgeries (such as cosmetic) will be necessary.
Economic damages can also include the income a victim is without while recovering. Like the medical bills, any future time off from work to undergo treatment (resulting in a loss of income), should be addressed in a claim.
Many dog bite victims find the emotional trauma to be significant enough that it becomes necessary to seek counseling or other types of psychological care. These costs may also be included in economic damages.
Noneconomic damages address the consequences and losses experienced as a result of a disfiguring dog bite injury. Compensation may be available in cases of severe or permanent disfigurement that causes emotional harm.
Noneconomic damages in a dog bite claim may also include pain and suffering, mental anguish, or may even address diminished quality of life. This can be a result of embarrassment over the severe scarring and difficulty with social situations as a result of the disfigurement.
Talking to an Iowa Personal Injury Attorney after Disfigurement from a Dog Bite
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that dog bite injuries affect approximately 800,000 people every year in the United States. Injury rates are the highest for children between the ages of five and nine.
But no matter what a victim’s age, the effects of dog bite injuries can be devastating. It can impact an individual’s life in many ways, including socially and even on-the-job if working with the public.
To learn more about the legal options that may be available to victims, an Iowa personal injury attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair can help injury victims pursuing a dog bite claim. Our law firm can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the incident, determine if someone else is liable and provide an estimate on the amount of compensation that may be sought in relation to disfigurement from a dog bite or attack.