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Two pit bulls attacked a woman as she took her dog for a walk. Initially the pit bulls, which were running loose, attacked the woman’s dog. When she tried to defend her dog, the pit bulls turned on her, knocking her to the ground and biting her repeatedly. She was saved only when neighbors were able to pull the pit bulls away.

During the attack, one of the pit bulls ripped off the middle finger of her right hand. The finger was recovered at the scene, but was too badly damaged to be sewn back on by surgeons. She also sustained more than 60 puncture wounds during the attack.

If the owner of these animals can be located and is financially responsible (i.e., either has insurance which will cover thsi attack or has significant assets), there is potential for the recovery of significant damages. Categories of damages that would be recoverable include: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and emotional distress.

Future lost wages are an often overlooked component of damages. Illinois case law supports the proposition that when an injured party has a permanent injury, that is a sufficient basis for allowing the jury to award damages for a future loss of earnings. Further, there are a number of studies which show that people with disabilities on average earn less and and have a shorter work life. Taken together, these two factors can result in a significant claim for future lost wages.

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