Visitor Question

Attack by neighbor’s dog caused my Achilles tendon rupture…

Submitted By: Neil (Long Island, NY)

A few weeks ago while taking out my garbage I was confronted by my neighbor’s 125 lb dog. As I backed away from the dog who was growling at me, I tripped over the Belgian block bricks that line my driveway, causing me to tear my Achilles tendon.

The sudden move also made the dog suddenly lunge toward me but I managed to fend off the attack by swinging the garbage bag as I limped back to the safety of my front door.

I had to have an operation to rebuild my tendon, using the tendon in my big toe which I can no longer bend. I have a 7″ scar on the back of my leg & will be in a cast for the next 4-6 weeks. I am told by my Dr. that I’ll need 6 weeks of physical therapy when the cast is finally removed.

The dog confinement laws in New York are clear. I have been in touch with my neighbor’s insurance company. They are paying for any out of pocket expense incurred up to $5,000. I am covered for most medical bills through my insurance company and am also covered under short term disability.

Am I entitled to pain & suffering for the scar on my leg & the loss of mobility of my big toe? If so, what kind of monetary compensation should I expect?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Neil,

Yes. You should be entitled to your actual damages, including all related medical bills, future therapy, out of pocket expenses (including prescription and over the counter medications), medical aids to assist you in your recovery, lost wages, and an additional amount for your pain and suffering.

The traditional means of determining a settlement inclusive of pain and suffering is to take your medical bills and multiply them by anywhere from 1.5x on up to a much higher amount. In a case like yours it wouldn’t seem unreasonable to request a settlement in a multiple of at least 4-5x or more depending upon your doctors’ diagnoses and prognoses.

Be sure to keep detailed records of all your expenses. It’s probably a good idea to open a file for yourself, especially because of the seriousness of your injuries and probable future costs associated with your recovery.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 25, 2012

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