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Settlements in Dog Bite Facial Injury Cases

Dog attacks are frightful and terrorizing to the victims. While some attacks result in minor scratches or small puncture wounds, others result in horrific dog bites to the face of an adult or child. These vicious attacks can result in serious disfigurements and permanent unsightly scars. The victims of these attacks have legal rights and can demand significant compensation. 

Most states have dog bite statutes and laws that hold the dog owner or keeper accountable for harm caused by their attacking canine. Some states have strict liability laws, meaning the dog owner is automatically held liable for the injuries caused by a dog bite. Many states, counties, and cities even have their own leash laws which require an owner to leash or chain their dog on public and private property. The failure to control one’s dog is a basis to sue for a resulting attack.

In addition to suffering permanent scarring to the face, a bite can damage the nerves and muscles to the face. This neurological and muscle damage can have a terrible effect on the appearance and function of the facial muscles. This includes having an uneven smile and even loss of sensation on the face.

When there is a significant scar, the victim may require plastic surgery or a cosmetic procedure. Examples include scar revision, dermabrasion, and other procedures to minimize the f scar.  These procedures can often reduce the size or shape of the scar but rarely ever totally eliminate the scar. 

A noticeable facial scar to the face also causes psychological injuries to the victim as well, such as low self-esteem.  Many children and even adults become self-conscious of their appearance and become introverts because they do not want to interact socially. The effects of a dog bite to the face are far-reaching and last many years.

If the victim elects for surgery to repair a scar, there are a number of risks associated with those procedures. Some risks include infections, additional scarring, and anesthesia risks. And, there is never a guarantee that the procedure will be successful or resolve the scar to the satisfaction of the patient. Cosmetic procedures are costly and may not be covered by health insurance.

Dog bite lawsuits demand monetary compensation for the victim. Recoverable damages include payment for physical pain, mental trauma, embarrassment and humiliation and other psychological injuries. Cases also demand money for past medical expenses and the future costs of plastic surgery or other treatment. Younger victims may also have to wait until they reach adolescence to undergo a procedure to fix a scar, so funds are set aside to cover them at a later date. 

There is no settlement calculator or guideline to determine the amount of a settlement. Rather, attorneys and insurance companies use their experience to properly value a case. Cases with significant scars can be settled for several hundred thousand dollars or higher. The key to winning the maximum dog bite settlement is to choose an experienced personal injury attorney for your case.

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. 2022National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 335
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About this Author

Larry Buckfire Personal Injury Attorney Buckfire Law
President and Attorney

Lawrence J. Buckfire (Larry Buckfire) earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan in 1986 and his juris doctor degree from Wayne State University School of Law in 1989. He has been in private practice since successfully completing the bar exam in 1989. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan, State of Ohio, and in the United States District Court.

Lawrence is the lead trial attorney and managing partner at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.  The law firm was founded in 1969 by his father David Buckfire with the principle of representing...

(855) 365-5999
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