How to Measure the Emotional Distress Caused By a Dog Bite

Dog bite attacks are frightening and can cause serious injuries, including catastrophes like amputations. The victim of a dog bite attack can seek compensation for their losses from the owner of the dog, including medical expenses, lost wages, medical equipment, and pain and suffering. Emotional distress can be part of your compensation following a dog bite attack. The personal injury team at The Cashman Law Firm can help build a case on your behalf.

What is Emotional Distress?

A dog bite attack can have a lasting impact on the victim in more ways than one. Aside from physical injuries, you might also suffer emotional injuries if you are left with permanent scarring or nerve damage. Victims of dog bite attacks can suffer from the following:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Embarrassment
  • Depression
  • Anger

If the attack was particularly damaging, the victim might relive it over and over in their mind, which is a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How to Calculate the Value of Emotional Distress in a Personal Injury Claim

The overall goal of filing a personal injury claim is to make you whole again, which means to return you to the life you led prior to the dog bite attack. While this may not be impossible to do from an injury standpoint, compensation helps ensure that you do not go into debt paying for medical care. It is easier to assign value to areas of the claim involving medical care, lost wages, and physical therapy because they have finite numbers assigned to them.

It is much more challenging to determine the value of emotional distress because there is no number assigned to it on a bill or invoice. There are two common methods used by personal injury attorneys to determine the value of emotional distress: the multiplier method and the per diem method.

What is the Multiplier Method?

If your dog bite attack lawyer decides to use the multiplier method, they will negotiate a number between 1.5 and 5 with the insurance company. That number is determined based on how severe your injuries are and the impact they have on your life. Once a number is reached, the following equation is used to determine the value of your claim:

(total economic/special damages) x (multiplier number) + (total economic/special damages) = value of the personal injury case

What is the Per Diem Method?

The per diem method is when a value for your emotional distress is assigned on a daily basis. Your lawyer will look at how severe your injuries are and how they impact your emotional well-being in order to assign a value to your claim. This value would then be paid to you each day until you reach maximum medical improvement.

Call an Experienced Dog Bite Attack Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a dog bite attack, you deserve compensation for your losses. Call the office of The Cashman Law Firm in Massachusetts or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.