The Cost of Pit Bull Injury
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