On August 10, 2014, our 15-year-old client was having a bad day and went over to a close friend’s house where she visited often. Unfortunately, her bad day was about to turn into a nightmare.
Seeing that our client was out of sorts, her friend suggested that petting her pit bull—a massive dog weighing 120 pounds that had always been friendly—might make her feel better. Deciding this might help improve her mood, our client lay down on the floor and began petting the dog. After being stroked about five times, he started growling. Alarmed, our client jerked into a sitting position. Before she could stand up, the pit bull suddenly lunged and bit her in multiple places on the right side of her face—including her lip and eyelid.
Our Client’s Sophomore Year Was Changed
Our client suffered deep lacerations to her right cheek, cheekbone, nose, right eyelid, temple, and upper lip. Some of the gashes cut into the fatty tissue below the skin. She immediately went to the emergency room where a doctor performed a complex repair of her right upper lip, her right nasal labial fold, and her right lower eyelid. Our client also needed repair to her right cheek.
Unfortunately, our client’s injuries took approximately one year to heal. During that time, she required regular cosmetic surgeon appointments to check her progress and to obtain topical creams to prevent keloids—tough, raised scars—from developing.
The dog bite attack happened two weeks before our client started her sophomore year at the high school. Our client started the school year behind as she was out sick for the first two weeks. When she did return to her classes, it was traumatic. Like most teenage girls her age, our client was very self-conscious of her appearance. For the first few months after her return, she was embarrassed by the obvious bruising and swelling on her face. To make matters worse, our client had to relive the terrifying pit bull attack multiple times a day when kids at school asked her what was wrong with her face.
In addition, she had been a cheerleader on the cheerleading squad and was excited for the new season. Her injuries required her to sit out for most of the season. Basically, our client’s sophomore year—which should have been a fun year before the stresses of the junior year and college decisions—turned into a traumatic year. Our client’s family also suffered. Her mom had to take time off work to drive to doctor appointments, and it was heart wrenching to watch our client go through a tumultuous year.
Steinberg Injury Lawyers Obtains a Substantial Settlement in a Challenging Case
The legal team at Steinberg Injury Lawyers knew this case would be challenging to settle because our client’s major injury was the emotional distress she suffered and her medical bills were relatively small—only $11,000. To make matters worse, the insurance company for the dog owner had a reputation for being difficult to negotiate with.
The legal team knew the initial demand letter would play an important role in resolving this case quickly. The team spent three days drafting a compelling letter outlining how the injuries affected our client and the emotional trauma she suffered—especially during her year-long recovery.
Negotiating a favorable settlement often involves more than advocating a client’s position. In this case, Peter Steinberg’s assistant made a personal connection with the insurance adjuster assigned to the case. He knew the adjuster also had teenaged children, and he used this to get the adjuster to sympathize with our client’s emotional ordeal dealing with an injury to her face during her sophomore year of high school.
Within three weeks, the legal team at Steinberg Injury Lawyers was able to settle this case for $100,000. This settlement will not give our client back her sophomore year or remove the scar that remains as a reminder of the attack. However, the settlement will help our client live a brighter life.
If you were injured in a dog bite attack, feel free to contact our experienced attorneys at 800-989-6385 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation.