Psychologist and television show host Dr. Phil McGraw, or just more commonly known as Dr. Phil, was once facing a significant legal battle after his dog mauled someone in his home. After the attack, the victim, Janet Harris, pursued monetary compensation in a dog bite injury lawsuits case against Dr. Phil.
Harris, who was formerly good friends with McGraw and his wife Robin, was visiting the couple at their home in Beverly Hills in December 2009 when the incident occurred. The dog bite lawsuit alleges that Dr. Phil’s dog Maggie, a purebred Korean Jindo, mauled her. Dr. Phil adopted the dog from a nearby animal shelter. The lawsuit also highlights the fact that this rare breed has unpredictable and potentially aggressive behavior around unfamiliar people, and they are usually used for hunting. Apparently, the dog attacked Harris without being provoked and without warning.
In her dog bite lawsuit, Harris was seeking monetary compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, general damage, and loss of wages. Harris’s attorney alleges that due to the nature of her injuries, she was unable to continue working permanently and lost her business as a result. Harris formerly worked as an esthetician in Beverly Hills before the attack, and the severity of the bite wounds she sustained from the attack resulted in deep punctures and uncontrollable bleeding. Harris also sustained cuts and lacerations on her arm and hand as a result of the attack.
Harris also frequently made appearances on Dr. Phil’s talk show as a skincare expert. It was not clear how much compensation her legal team was seeking in the lawsuit, but when a permanent loss of wages is factored in, it is likely to be substantial.
After the dog bite attack, Harris suffered from various complications, which prompted her to receive emergency treatment, which was followed by at-home medical care. She received intravenous antibiotics for one week, in addition to steroids, to fight an infection called pasteurella multocida. This type of infection can quickly become dangerous if it is not treated promptly, and it can affect the deep tissues.
Upon further investigation, it was also revealed that the dog has a history of aggression, and fatally attacked other family pets in the McGraw household, including a rabbit and a cat. Several skunks were also found dead on McGraw’s property, which were presumed to have died after McGraw’s dog attacked them. It apparently wasn’t until after McGraw adopted the dog that he discovered it was a rare breed used for hunting, which could possibly suggest that McGraw was unaware of the dog’s potentially aggressive tendencies until it was too late.
Shortly after Harris filed her initial lawsuit, Dr. Phil filed one of his own. In the lawsuit, his legal team demanded that the original lawsuit be dropped completely because it violated an agreement to arbitrate any disputes. The agreement was signed between Harris, Dr. Phil, and his wife in 2009, shortly before the dog attack occurred.
Eventually, the dog bite lawsuit that Harris filed settled privately between the two parties out of court, with the terms of the settlement amount remaining confidential.
Dog bites and dog attacks can cause substantial injuries that can be permanent and life-altering. Depending on the extent of the injuries, they may require a long recovery, which can result in a significant amount of medical expenses. For some dog bite victims, they may not be able to return to work while they recover from their injuries. This time off of work may be temporary, or it could be permanent, like in Janet Harris’s case. When you have lost wages to account for, on top of medical bills and other costs that may have accumulated due to a dog bite injury, a monetary award from a personal injury lawsuit has the potential to be significant.
Dog bite injury victims often seek legal representation while they’re on the road to recovery, and ultimately, may receive the monetary compensation that they deserve. Although this monetary compensation is meant to help cover any financial difficulties that the accident victim has faced due to the incident, these types of lawsuits often go through a lengthy process and take a long time to finalize. While a plaintiff waits for a personal injury lawsuit to settle, it can be a stressful time, especially as expenses accumulate. And then when they do ultimately settle, they are sometimes in the form of a structured settlement.
Structured settlement payments are smaller payments that are paid out periodically until the full settlement amount has been paid out. It can take many years for this to happen, and while the smaller payments are ideal for some people, others prefer to receive their money sooner. By selling some or all of your future payments, you can receive a lump sum of cash upfront. Contact us today at (855) 582-9975 for more information and to receive your free quote.