Senior Man Has Finger Amputated After Being Bitten By Vicious Dog

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by | Sep 27, 2023 | Personal Injury

Horn Law concentrates in cases where a sudden onset of injury requires extended medical treatment and results in a significant loss in quality of life. These are cases where the legal recovery must be maximized.

Earlier this year, an 82 year-old man, suffered deep wounds to his right hand when he was bitten by his neighbor’s vicious dog. It happened as the man was trying to repair his fence along the back side of his property. According to another neighbor, the man’s fence had been damaged by the same aggressive dog that bit him.

As the man ripped his hand from the dog’s mouth, he dropped to the ground in severe pain. Somehow, with his right-hand bleeding profusely, the man was able to hobble to his home and his wife took him to the hospital where he had immediate surgery to close the bite wounds and re-attach his pinky finger. Unfortunately, the surgery proved unsuccessful and his pinky finger had to be amputated.

The man’s medical recovery took about 6 months. In addition to the obvious disfigurement to his hand, the man is also learning how to adapt to life without the full use of his right hand. You can never appreciate the importance of your smallest finger until it is gone. Even routine tasks become much more difficult due to the loss of grip strength and dexterity.

Because the injury was to his dominant hand, the man is substantially limited in anything that requires the use of his right hand. As you might expect, he is also working through the psychological impact from the amputation.

In light of all of this, the man’s legal recovery became very important and he retained Horn Law.

The Legal Recovery

Although an Animal Control investigation had been initiated, the insurance company for the dog owner failed to take any action. When our law firm became involved in the case, we immediately established the insurance claim against the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance coverage.

Dog owners are usually protected through their “Homeowners” or “Renters” insurance coverages. However, proving the dog owner is at fault can be tricky, especially when the dog has never bitten before. In this case, we were able to prove that not only did the dog display vicious tendencies, but also the dog was a serious threat to our client who shared the fence line.

Regarding our client’s damages, the insurance company for the dog owner did not initially place the same settlement value on the case as we did. While the pain and suffering damages were substantial, the insurance company did not feel the loss of his pinky finger resulted in a significant loss in quality of life because our client was retired and not working. The insurance company also discounted the settlement value of the case based on the fact that our client’s medical bills were paid by Medicare.

In the end, the insurance company agreed to pay our client $300,000.00, which was the maximum amount of insurance coverage available under the Homeowners insurance policy.

This case was published in the Horn Law Track Record in 2023. Based in Kansas City and handling injury cases throughout Missouri and Kansas, Horn Law represents people who have suffered a sudden onset of injury resulting in high medical bills, loss of income, and a significant loss of future quality of life.

About Doug Horn

Since 1990, Attorney Doug Horn has focused his law practice on representing injured persons in Missouri, Kansas, and across the Midwest. His areas of concentration include cases involving head, neck, back, and other serious injury requiring extended medical care and rehabilitation. In addition to his law practice, Horn frequently presents to national attorney audiences in the area of personal injury law and litigation.