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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mom was riding her bike and was attacked by some kind of German Shephard mix. Apparently the owner wasn't home and the out-of-towner family members who were there weren't able to restrain the dog when it ran into the public street after my mom. It bit her badly on the right calf then bit her on the left calf when she fell off her bike screaming. Some other neighbor was able to fight the dog off.

Mom has a bunch of stiches and her doc told her to cancel the vacation she was about to go on since he's worried about infection/complications while away from home. If it isn't improved in a few days he's sending her to a wound clinic. She's going to have a huge scar and IMO currently has a bit of PTSD.

The dog's owner offered to pay medical bills but is trying not to claim it on her homeowner's insurance. Mom lawyered up but none of us really know what a fair settlement would be. I think more than medical expenses is warranted. I'm also surprised the dog isn't dead yet (sheriff said it's "first time offence" so...).

Do any of you have experience/advice with this sort of thing?
 

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My mom was riding her bike and was attacked by some kind of German Shephard mix. Apparently the owner wasn't home and the out-of-towner family members who were there weren't able to restrain the dog when it ran into the public street after my mom. It bit her badly on the right calf then bit her on the left calf when she fell off her bike screaming. Some other neighbor was able to fight the dog off.

Mom has a bunch of stiches and her doc told her to cancel the vacation she was about to go on since he's worried about infection/complications while away from home. If it isn't improved in a few days he's sending her to a wound clinic. She's going to have a huge scar and IMO currently has a bit of PTSD.

The dog's owner offered to pay medical bills but is trying not to claim it on her homeowner's insurance. Mom lawyered up but none of us really know what a fair settlement would be. I think more than medical expenses is warranted. I'm also surprised the dog isn't dead yet (sheriff said it's "first time offence" so...).

Do any of you have experience/advice with this sort of thing?
I've no direct experience with dog bites other than having been nipped a time or two, but a rule of thumb I've heard used by personal injury litigators is a settlement around for 5-7x medical bills, and they get a hefty piece of that (25-40%).

But "Mom lawyered up" kinda takes things out of your hands, doesn't it?

I know there are some attorneys on the board, perhaps they can post more information while on their breaks from chasing ambulances....
 

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Mom lawyered up but none of us really know what a fair settlement would be.

Do any of you have experience/advice with this sort of thing?
Ask the lawyer. They'll have a better idea.
No one here will be able to tell you. It can be very complicated and vary greatly by state laws.
Under "dangerous dog laws" that some states, cities, and counties have, the owner of a dog that has been declared dangerous or vicious may have to pay double or even triple the damages if their dog injures someone.

The dog's owner offered to pay medical bills but is trying not to claim it on her homeowner's insurance.
Did they offer this in writing or on video?
They may be in for a rude awakening when they find out the cost.
Did your mom submit the medical bills through insurance? She doesn't have to, she can require the dog owner to pay actual hospital costs, not insurance deductibles.
Actual medical bills plus pain/suffering could be well over $30,000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
But "Mom lawyered up" kinda takes things out of your hands, doesn't it?
It was never in my hands and I want no involvement other than to provide emotional support. My mom is young/smart enough to take care of herself but we're all kinda curious how things may go.

Ask the lawyer. They'll have a better idea.
The lawyers were just contacted yesterday so we're waiting to hear back.

Did they offer this in writing or on video?
They may be in for a rude awakening when they find out the cost.
I think it was over a phone call and you're probably right about the rude awakening - especially if there's cosmetic surgery involved. It was a pretty nasty bite. My first response when she told me about that offer was that she's entitled to something more than just having her bills covered.

Did your mom submit the medical bills through insurance? She doesn't have to, she can require the dog owner to pay actual hospital costs, not insurance deductibles.
Actual medical bills plus pain/suffering could be well over $30,000.
I'm not sure where all that stands as it just happened a couple days ago and there's more doctor visits to come. My mom is actually the head of the Workman's Comp billing department at our hospital so she's well up to speed on costs/insurance/ etc.

One thing we all thought was interesting was that the lawyers asked her, "how often and how far do you bike? Because, your doctor isn't allowing you to do that now". My mom bikes LOTS - she's the one that got me into the sport ages ago.
 

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She got bit, that is assault, no way around that. If the lawyer doesn't know what that's worth, get a new lawyer.
I've had it with these ignorant dog owners, always claiming they are so sorry. BS, if they were sorry, the dog would be trained, locked up, or dead.
 

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She got bit, that is assault, no way around that. If the lawyer doesn't know what that's worth, get a new lawyer.
No it's not. Can you cite the law that says that? (no you can't)

In order for it to be an assault, the owner would have to intentionally cause their dog to bite someone. There is case law on this.
(Gilbert v. State, 874 N.E.2d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007).)
(Braziel v. State, 739 S.E.2d 13 (Ga. Ct. App. 2013)

Per the OP, the owner wasn't home. The dog watcher failed to restrain the dog.
 

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It is assault, it's the law that is wrong. That's for a jury to decide.
A juror evaluates the situation & the law.
 

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So, your mom:
a) contacted her doctor
b) contacted an attorney
c) is employed in the medical insurance business

So, what advice could WE give? If I were to get bit, I'd probably ask her how to handle it. Why are you even getting involved in something that sounds like your mom knows better about what to do than you do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The second I saw that you responded to this thread I assumed there would be some irritating snark.

I'm basically just making conversation as I've never known anyone who this has happened to before. If anyone has had this happen to them I'm curious;

  • whether there was a prolonged legal battle or is everything settled pretty quickly.
  • how damages beyond the medical expenses are determined.
  • If anything unexpected or interesting happened along the way.

Why are you even getting involved in something that sounds like your mom knows better about what to do than you do?
Like I mentioned above, my "involvement" is limited to caring about her and her healing, because SHE'S MY MOM.
 

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Let things take their course. Your mom's a smart cookie.
 

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Were the police contacted? Was there an incident report? To me, the lawyer is limited in what they can do without police documentation.

I'm sure the lawyer has tables they can consult to determine fair and equitable compensation. Your mom has to document EVERY bill she incurs as part of the incident whether medical, time off from work for physical therapy, damage to bike and clothing, phone calls, etc. It should all be kept in a folder, and in a simple ledger.

Once the bills are tallied up and complete, then your mom and her lawyer can draw up numbers.

Let us know the resolution.
 

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Were the police contacted? Was there an incident report? To me, the lawyer is limited in what they can do without police documentation.
A police report isn't needed. The owner isn't disputing their dog bit her. They are 1000% liable. Medical reports and scars will determine damages.

A police report would only be useful if the owner tried to deny their dog bit her. Or if they claimed she was trespassing on their property.
 

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Oh man, so sorry! That’s awful and very dangerous. She had to do Rabies protocol too I guess? Infection risk from this injury is super high, the doc is right to ground her locally. She’s right to lawyer up. That dog needs to be prevented from doing this in the future. Again, sorry she’s having to deal with this.


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[/QUOTE]
Let things take their course. Your mom's a smart cookie.
^This.

It's good that dir-t wishes to be involved so as to best help his mother, so it must reassure him that she is on top of things.
 

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The second I saw that you responded to this thread I assumed there would be some irritating snark.

I'm basically just making conversation as I've never known anyone who this has happened to before. If anyone has had this happen to them I'm curious;

  • whether there was a prolonged legal battle or is everything settled pretty quickly.
  • how damages beyond the medical expenses are determined.
  • If anything unexpected or interesting happened along the way.



Like I mentioned above, my "involvement" is limited to caring about her and her healing, because SHE'S MY MOM.
Exactly re your involvement (unsure why someone might dump on you about this--my earlier comment was not intended as such).

As PeterP mentioned, this case seems pretty cut-and-dried, and her attorney can guesstimate a settlement amount, even if they don't always like to tell clients up front (can set up unreasonable expectations).

Re time, if she wants money fast, there'll be less, unless her injuries cost little and the other side's insurer/attorney wants to clear the thing because it'd be small potatoes. Typically, foot dragging can be the plaintiff's friend, because it signals to the other side that one isn't just going to "go away," or settle for less because they want their cash. I've been involved with two PI suits, and they took at least a year to settle, and weren't big settlements (<$25K each).

Best of luck to your mom, and make her smile today: You can tell her the fellas on RBR said if she weren't so sweet and tasty that mutt would've never taken a bite.:sneaky:
 

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Sorry to hear about your Mom. Hope she gets better soon.

I have been bit but it was minor compared to your Mom's incident, although I do still have a fairly big scar near my shin. I think the helmet and cycling garb freaks out dogs because it's unfamiliar. Dogs usually get on well with me but that seems to change when I wear cycling stuff. I was pretty pissed about the owners cavalier attitude and "usually friendly" BS as if that helped me but I had no medical bills (I just stopped at a fire station down the road and they cleaned it up and bandaged it for me) so didn't do anything. I did file a police report though. This was on a bike trail and I figured if it ever happened again to someone else it would be good to have on record that it wasn't the first time.

So I don't know what a far settlement is but I'm pretty sure it matters where the scar is. A scar on the face is a big deal and even more so if the person's appearance matters for their living (like if they are a model or something) but the same scar on the side of the shin like mine, everything else equal, would likely fetch much less compensation.
 

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nothing less than 100k settlement. I have zero sympathy for dog owners, the same stupid people who throw those blue dog poop bags around. Sue them to hell.
 

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I have zero sympathy for dog owners, the same stupid people who throw those blue dog poop bags around. Sue them to hell.
Can a get an "Amen" brutha?!

I pick up litter in my local park weekly (see my signature) and I can't comprehend this. You (the dog owner) know this thing drops turds, you brought the bag, yet you made no provisions to carry the bag once the bomb was dropped?! Not only do they do this on the roadsides in the park, they leave the bags ON THE TRAILS! And I'll bet these dog owners think they did the right thing.

Same applies to the diapers I find...
 

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I pick up litter in my local park weekly (see my signature) and I can't comprehend this. You (the dog owner) know this thing drops turds, you brought the bag, yet you made no provisions to carry the bag once the bomb was dropped?! Not only do they do this on the roadsides in the park, they leave the bags ON THE TRAILS! And I'll bet these dog owners think they did the right thing.
I never could understand this. They go to the trouble of scooping up the poop into a bag, but can't be bothered with carrying it out. WTF!!!
 
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