If you’re pursuing a legal case in New Jersey, it can be helpful to understand the legal terms you may hear or come across as your injury case progresses. In a dog bite claim, an injured party is trying to recover from a dog attack and to recuperate losses due to that injury. In a successful case, the injured party secures compensatory damages to cover those losses through a personal injury claim.
Compensatory damages fall under two categories – economic and non-economic.
These damages are meant to cover financial losses that can be quantified. Tangible losses can be calculated using documents and bills to show evidence of the costs involved.
Examples of economic damages include:
Projected costs can also form part of your claim. Using your current medical needs, medical professionals and your personal injury attorney will forecast what future medical costs may be.
More difficult to calculate, non-economic damages involve intangible losses to the injured party. These damages cover losses suffered by the victim such as pain and emotional distress and are not financial in nature.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
With no hard evidence of costs, awarding non-economic damages can be very subjective. It can be difficult to calculate what is appropriate and assign a monetary value.
When filing a claim for non-economic damages, it’s important to provide evidence to prove your case. Insurance companies will frequently undervalue non-economic losses. It’s important to have an experienced dog bite attorney that understands the motives of insurance company lawyers.
The more evidence you can present, the higher your financial recovery will likely be.
A medical professional can provide a medical assessment and opinion on mental injuries suffered. Medical records can also serve as evidence in the case. The injured person can also testify. Those closest to the injured person can discuss the impact your injuries have had on you.
In wrongful death cases, family members can testify about their relationship with the deceased person.
As it is difficult to value non-economic losses, it is best to discuss this with your dog bite attorney. An experienced dog attack lawyer will be able to best advise you on preparing this aspect of your dog bite claim.
There are typically two methods used to calculate non-economic damages. The multiplier method and a daily rate.
The multiplier method takes into account past, present, and future medical expenses and multiplies them by a number. The number is usually between 1.5-5. How severe a victim’s injuries are is a common basis for determining the multiplier number.
The per diem or daily rate method is straightforward to calculate. Using a fair “daily rate” for living with the injuries and then multiplying by the number of days you spend living with the injuries from your attack. Although the calculation is simple, determining the daily rate can be a difficult task. Often the calculation uses the injured party’s actual daily earnings. The basis for this is that recovering from injuries is at least as emotionally difficult as going to work.
Total Economic and non-economic damages together are the total of the compensatory damages for the claim.
A dog bite attorney will work with you to design the best case to recover compensatory damages for your dog bite injury. If you were injured in a dog attack, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries.
Determining compensation amounts is on a case-by-case basis as every case is unique. Working with an experienced dog bite lawyer will help you to build your best possible case. A dog bite attorney works on your behalf to fight for the best compensation award for your dog bite case.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a dog attack, contact David J. Cowhey to review your case. He offers free consultations to dog bite victims. As an experienced dog bite lawyer, he will be able to provide you with an honest and informed assessment.