Monday, July 28, 2008
Omaha, NE - The medical bills continue to mount as Charlotte receives treatment for her injury. A bill was recently presented to the Omaha World Herald that showed $113,935.50. This amount goes toward the initial emergency room care and three surgeries that followed the pit bull attack that tore off the toddler's scalp.
Wendy Blevins, Charlotte's mother, said sections of the synthetic skin on Charlotte's scalp have attached now. Every few days, she said, doctors take a few more staples out of her head -- a sign that she is healing well. "Basically, she's doing really good," Blevins said. "I got lucky that she twirls the sides of her hair and her bangs and manages to not actually touch the back of her head."
Since the three surgeries, Wendy and her daughter have had 22 appointments that are not included in the emergency care bill, which listed expenses before insurance allowances are figured in. Blevins said the family has health insurance, but she's not sure exactly how much will be covered. "We have no idea how much we're going to have to pay," she said. "We just ask to bill our insurance."
Personal health insurance is tricky readers. Personal health coverage may not cover you if you are in a car accident -- your car insurance policy does. Personal health coverage may not cover you if fall and trip at work; potentially your employer's insurance does. A personal insurance policy may not cover you if someone's dog attacks you either; the dog owner's insurance is expected to pay these costs.
State laws vary on these issues, and the laws get complex fast.Nebraska state has a strict liability dog law that is favorable to victims. It states that dog owners are liable for any and all damages to anyone except a trespasser. The question is, does the pit bull owner that attacked Charlotte own a home (have assets) and if she is a homeowner does she have a policy that covers pit bulls? Many homeowner insurance providers do not cover pit bull type dogs.
The article delves into the hidden expenses the Blevins must pay as well. The numerous doctor appointments eat up time and substantial fuel costs. The travel also keeps Wendy and her daughter from eating at home. "Food is adding up because I'm never at home because we are constantly out running around, and we end up eating out quite a bit," she said.
The family also must buy medical supplies such as bandages and gauze to treat Charlotte. The many doctor appointments have kept Wendy from working her part-time job at Giftcertificates.com. Her husband, Aaron, has been able to continue working full time. She said her employer paid her for the time she was at the hospital. Blevins hopes the doctors will let her return to work as early as this week.
Charlotte Blevins Charitable Fund
Please visit any First National or U.S. Bank to donate to the Blevins fund.
06/28/08: Coverage of the Omaha Pit Bull Attack - DogsBite.org
06/11/08: Pit Bull Victim Alan Hill Awarded $7.25 Million Dollars
05/20/08: $1.8 Million Dog Attack Settlement Awaiting Florida House Approval
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| 7/28/2008 12:58 AM |
$113,935.50 - That's just a starting balance, not a closing balance or representative of cost for continuing definitive treatment. This also doesn't reflect lost wages of the parents and associated expenses. What a nightmare for a young family.
I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that requires pit bull liability coverage greater than 100K. And as horrific as this attack was, the injuries were limited because of immediate intercession at the onset of the attack. This could have been much worse, and could easily have included injury to limbs, to the face, or to the torso with puncture wounds of the organs.
Thinking back to the 1 million awarded for an American bulldog attack in Santa Rosa, California, it is abundantly clear the current liability requirements do not meet real world costs.
But the troubling reality is that even where insurance is required, the least responsible pit bull owners will not obtain the coverage. This brings us back to the most workable solution...
| 7/28/2008 1:39 AM |
Exactly! 100,000 is peanuts for pit bull injury cost -- it's absolutely laughable. The treatment of Charlotte over the long haul is half a million and I'm being conservative. This is what many people do not get; they do not get the horrific cost of these injuries.
| 7/28/2008 4:50 AM |
You have to be nuts to own any dog, much less a Pit Bull without having them covered by insurance.
For most breeds coverage is complimentary or costs a tiny premium a renters or homeowners policy.
| 7/28/2008 12:25 PM |
My Renter's Policy covers my Black Labrador up to $300,000 and the whole policy is $127 per year. My auto ins. also came down $20 because of the renters policy. Pit bull insurance starts at about $400 a year.