Facial scar to child after attack by in-law's dog...
My 1 year old daughter was bit on her face by my wife's parent's dog, a 6 year old Labrador. There was a very large gash that runs from between her eyes, up and across her entire forehead. This happened in October 2015. Our In-laws were watching our kids on a Saturday when the event took place at their home.
The dog attacked my daughter and pinned her down. My other daughter, who was 3 at the time, witnessed the attack and ran upstairs to safety in tears. When my mother in law responded the dog had already taken another bite. There was extensive blood and the gash was large.
My mother in law immediately contacted 911 and the police and ambulance were sent. She was transferred to a local Children's hospital, where she received treatment. A plastic surgeon had to be called to respond because of the extensive gashes on her forehead.
She received hundreds of stitches underneath her skin and on the outer layer of skin. Both of her eyes were swollen shut and her right eye was swollen shut for almost a month. She will have a very large scar for her life and we are very uncertain about future procedures that will need to take place to correct damage that was done. Also, we are unsure as to the emotional set backs she will need to deal with.
As of today, her right eye droops and the Dr. is not sure if it will correct itself. We are concerned that we will need to deal with medical, emotional issues in the future and are wondering what action we should take. We have been contacted by my wife's parent's homeowners insurance and they have instructed us to send them medical bills associated with this injury.
What can/should we do? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Facial scar to child after attack by in-law's dog...":
Mike (Omaha, Nebraska):
Standard Homeowners insurance policies normally cover personal injuries up to $100,000. Because of the medical complexity of your daughter’s treatment, you would be well-advised to seek legal representation. There is just too much to lose by representing your daughter "pro-se," meaning without legal counsel.
From the facts you present, it's likely your daughter may need extensive reconstructive surgery, and continuing treatment for months or even years. Unless the insurance company is tendering policy limits, meaning they are going to compensate your daughter at the maximum amount of coverage at $100,000, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney.
Your daughter is entitled to compensatory damages for the injuries she sustained as a result of the dog attack. Damages can include your daughter's medical and therapy bills, your out of pocket expenses (for such items as medications, bandages, costs of travel to treatment, etc.), your lost wages if you had to miss work to care for your daughter, and an additional amount for your daughter's pain and suffering.
Gather up copies of your daughter's medical records and medical bills to date and seek out several personal injury attorneys in your area. Fortunately, most injury attorneys do not charge prospective clients for initial office consultations.
Once the attorneys have reviewed the medical records they will be able to give you a reasonable prediction of how long the claim will take to pursue, the likelihood of success, and the approximate amount of settlement.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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