You might be entitled to compensation under Virginia’s dog bite laws if you suffered injuries due to a dog bite or attack. However, you need to know how much your claim is worth when deciding whether to file a claim with the dog owner’s insurance company. There are two things you need to consider when valuing your claim:
- The amount of compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law
- How certain factors could increase or decrease your claim’s value
Types of Compensation You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Case
If a dog bit you, you are entitled to your past and future damages. Compensation you should receive in your settlement includes:
- Medical expenses, such as hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, and medications
- Lost wages, benefits, and perks of your job, and lost earning capacity damages if you are permanently disabled
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress damages
- Property damages
Factors That Can Affect Your Claim’s Value
Certain factors can strengthen your dog bite claim and make its value higher. Other ones can weaken your case and reduce its value. Here are factors you need to consider when valuing your claim:
- Seriousness of your injuries. If you suffered serious injuries that will require long-term care or are permanent, the value of your claim will be higher because you will be entitled to more compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Disputes with the insurance company. If the insurance company raises legitimate concerns about the dog owner’s liability or the seriousness of your injuries, this could reduce the value of your claim. However, you need to be wary when they raise issues because they may be using bogus arguments to deny your claim or try to get you to accept less in damages for your settlement.
- Your fault. If you were partially at fault for causing the dog to bite you, this could significantly weaken your case. Virginia follows a harsh contributory negligence law that would bar you from recovering any compensation if you were even one percent to blame for the attack.
Let Our Norfolk Attorneys Help You Value Your Claim
The best way to accurately determine how much your claim is worth is to hire an experienced dog bite attorney to value it for you. They will also collect the evidence you need to hold the dog owner and other liable parties responsible for compensating you and fight with their insurance company so that you receive what you are entitled to in your settlement. To find out how we can help, call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.