Just because you have a valid dog bite claim, it doesn't mean that you will automatically be compensated for all your damages. For example, your damages may be reduced if you were involved in the following situations.
You Provoked the Dog
Provocation is one of the most common and effective defenses to dog bites. In fact, you may lose your case altogether if the defendant succeeds in proving that the dog wouldn't have attacked you without your provocation. In some cases, however, you may have your damages reduced. This is particularly true if the dog owner was also negligent in their handling of the animal, for example, if they let into a prohibited place such as a shopping mall that doesn't allow dogs.
You Were Trespassing On the Property
Trespassing is another common defense dog owner's use, especially those who keep dogs for security purposes. However, you may still be able to recover some of your damages if you "accidentally" strayed onto the property and the dog owner was keeping a dangerous animal breed, such as a pit bull. In such cases, the age of the trespasser may also determine whether trespassing is used against them during the claim. For example, children trespassers are given more leeway than adult trespassers, so your child may still be able to collect some damages if they were attacked by a dog while trespassing on another person's property.
You Had Agreed To Take Care of the Dog
In this case, the dog owner may use the assumption of risk defense to deny you damages. A good example is if a neighbor asks you to walk their dog or sit their dog while the neighbor runs some errands. If the dog ends up attacking you, the neighbor can argue that you knew there was a risk of that happening but still agreed to take care of the dog. However, the dog owner may still be liable for at least some of your damages if you can prove that they knew the animal was dangerous but did not warn you.
You Did Not Get Adequate Treatment in Time
Lastly, your damages may also be reduced if it's proven that you did not get immediate medical care, or you have not been following your doctor's treatment advice. This makes sense because every injury victim is expected to mitigate their damages, and one of the best ways of mitigating damages associated with a dog bite is to get prompt medical care.
As you can see, you may be disappointed with your settlement or award if you aren't careful. You need to work with an attorney to ensure that your damages aren't reduced unnecessarily. For more information, contact a lawyer like Nicholas B. Hall - Personal Injury Lawyer.