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Dog bites can be difficult to deal with and the injuries that come with an attack can be costly. Be that as it may, you might be eligible for damages in the form of compensation that can be used towards paying your bills. If you or someone you love have sustained injuries due to an attack and need assistance calculating Raleigh dog bite damages, contact an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.

Punitive Damages

Calculating Raleigh dog bite damages can depend on several factors. If, for example, there was a dog-fighting ring or some horrific set of facts that show the defendant was acting with reckless disregard and knew this dog was extremely dangerous and didn’t have it fenced in, chained up, or encouraging it to engage in violent behavior, this could result in punitive damages.

It would depend on the case, but it would have to be more than just simple negligence. Letting a dog out of the house and it bites a neighbor is not going to be the sort of willful and wanton conduct to rise to the level of punitive damages unless more egregious facts arise.

Jury Involvement in Calculating Damages

When the plaintiff and the defendant go to trial, each stands up and asks the jury either to award an amount of money to the plaintiff or a minimal amount or no amount if they are the defense lawyer. The jury does not have to accept either of those numbers. They can listen to one of the lawyers or they can completely disregard what the lawyers are saying.

Once a jury trial is set and the jury goes to deliberate, then the amount of money that is going to be awarded is completely in the hands of the jury. That is one of the reasons that some individuals are reluctant to go to trial. It can be likened to rolling the dice. Those individuals do not have the same experience as insurance adjusters or lawyers.

How Are Calculations Demonstrated?

To demonstrate damage calculations, attorneys would admit into evidence the person’s medical bills. They could have a doctor appear via video deposition and give an opinion about future medical expenses or a permanent injury that may require medical treatment down the road. They could have an economist appear and testify about more than just lost wages, including a loss of earning opportunity or income value. They could have someone from the company sign an affidavit or appear about the lost wages.

Also, the plaintiffs’ lawyer can make the per diem argument. If a person is injured for 100 days, then they could come up with an argument for an amount of money that the jury should award for each day that a person is out of work, or that they are not able to do their customary activities, to help describe the pain and suffering aspect of the injury.

It is important to note that punitive damages cannot exceed more than three times the amount of compensatory damages that are awarded. If a person has a really egregious set of facts and believe there is conduct that rises to the level of willful and wanton, then they can pursue punitive damages. North Carolina is one of only four states that still have contributory negligence. Also, the jury could find that the dog owner had no prior knowledge of the dangerous propensity or that the dog owner acted reasonably and did not necessarily do anything negligent, and that would lead to a recovery of zero for the plaintiff.

How a Lawyer Could Help

Plaintiffs can certainly try to calculating Raleigh dog bite damages themselves, but they generally do not have the same experience and would not know whether what they are being offered is fair. An insurance company might offer to cover your medical bills and give them $500 and you may think that sounds great when, in reality, that may not be enough to cover all the treatment that you need.

An experienced lawyer may ask for more when asking for someone to be compensated for their pain and suffering if it is a significant claim.  If you want to know more about recovering damages, you should consult a qualified dog bite attorney today.