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Dog Bite Results in $725K Settlement for Child with Permanent Scarring

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year – 800,000 of those requiring medical attention. Children are the most common victims, typically bitten by a family member’s pet.

It was a sunny summer day in San Jose, California. A father and son eagerly prepared for a family outing to a professional football team's training camp session. They stopped by the boy’s great uncle’s home, adorned in scarlet and gold, excited for a beautiful day outside. The four-year-old boy noticed his great uncle’s large English Bulldog and went to pet it. As he kneeled down, the dog unexpectedly leaped at the boy and mauled his face. The adults ran towards the boy’s screams and pulled the vicious Bulldog off.

Blood poured down the left side of the boy’s head while his father rushed him to the nearest emergency room. Medical staff performed a complex emergency repair of his left cheek, suturing his deep lacerations and avulsions. The boy’s tongue had a deep stellate tear and gashes below his eye extended across his cheek, severing his tear duct and mandibular nerve. Doctors met with the boy’s parents as he recovered from surgery, informing them his injuries would result in permanent scarring and an irregular smile.

Shortly after the incident, the parents filed a claim against their relative’s insurance, seeking compensation for their son’s lifelong damages and his future medical care. The insurance returned with an underwhelming $10,000 offer. The boy and his parents met with David Scopp of Harris Personal Injury Lawyers to consult with him regarding the best legal recourse to take. They felt anxious and worried about a lawsuit affecting their family’s relationship. David assured them of a smooth process and proceeded to file their demand. Following David’s involvement, the Defense increased their offer to $125,000.

However, David believed this amount wasn’t enough. The damages to the boy’s face would disrupt his quality of life for years to come: his confidence in school, his romantic interests, and every photo he would take. This case required aggressive litigation to receive the justice the boy deserved. To prepare for mediation, David contacted DK Global to portray the incident, bring life to the list of injuries the boy suffered, and reveal the physical and emotional effects his scarring will have as he grows. 

David’s retained cosmetic surgeon worked closely with DK Global's production team to ensure an accurate and publishable demonstrative. A picture of the boy immediately before the event was shown, revealing his excitement for the special occasion. Then, a 3D recreation of the attack captured the family Bulldog’s canines piercing the boy’s face. The list of injuries was highlighted: the right mandibular nerve damage, causing his asymmetrical smile; the gruesome cuts and tears extending over his left lower eyelid; and more. Finally, a time-lapse of the boy aging was played, showing the progression of how his scarring would look as he developed.

Armed with the visual of the attack and resulting trauma, David sat with the Defendant’s insurance provider during mediation. He secured a $725,000 settlement for the boy to support him and aid in his future medical care.

David Scopp is an attorney at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers and has advocated for survivors of traumatic injuries for over 14 years. As a former defense attorney for insurance companies, he uses his experience to attain proper compensation and justice for his deserving clients. In 2015 and 2016, David was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and maintains an excellent rating on Avvo. Recently, David secured a unanimous appellate victory for a child who lost her mother due to a city’s negligence.

"I could tell [the DK Global team] really wanted the best outcome for my client and everyone put everything they had into every step."
David Scopp - Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc.
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