A dog bite can be a traumatic experience that can have a long-lasting impact. The victim can seek compensation by filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner for their damages. However, taking the case to trial can often be a lengthy legal process, which is why many cases are settled out of court. Continue reading to learn how settlements are calculated in dog bite injury cases and how a dog bite attorney can help you.
Key Factors When Calculating a Dog Bite Injury Settlement
The settlement amount for a dog bite injury can depend on the following factors:
In some states, the dog owner may not be liable for the accident if the victim teased or abused the animal before the dog bite. If the victim contributed to the dog bite injury in any way, such as trespassing on the property or teasing the dog, it could impact the amount of compensation they can receive.
Extent of Injuries
The extent of the injury is important when calculating the dog bite settlement amount. For example, a person who suffered deep, visible wounds from a dog bite may recover more compensation than someone who suffered minor injuries.
Most states follow the strict liability rule that holds the dog owner responsible for the dog bite injury regardless of whether the owner was aware of the dog’s propensity to be aggressive. In these states, if the dog owner does not partake in the settlement process, they would have to risk fighting the case in court. This can increase the chances of the dog owner or their insurance company offering a hefty settlement to avoid a trial. On the other hand, if your state follows the one-bite rule, the dog owner can avoid liability by claiming to be unaware of their dog’s dangerous behavior.
What Is the Average Dog Bite Settlement Amount?
In most states, the average dog bite settlement is between $30,000 to $50,000, but this number varies based on the facts of the case. The dog owner’s conduct and the dog’s history of aggressive behavior or attacks are key factors in the settlement amount. In a dog bite case, a settlement can be reached between the parties at any point in the process; this could be after the lawsuit is filed or during the insurance claim process.
Compensation Available In a Dog Bite Case
The insurance company might have you believe that compensation for a dog bite injury is only confined to medical expenses, but that is untrue. As the victim of a dog attack, you can recover the cost of emergency medical care, reconstructive surgery, prescription medications, hospital stays, and doctor appointments. If you missed time from work due to your injuries, you can obtain compensation for your loss of income.
Dog bite injuries can lead to mental anguish and cause conditions like PTSD. You can seek compensation if you suffer emotional distress due to the damage. Recovering compensation for a dog bite injury can be a complex and overwhelming process, so it is best to seek the guidance of an experienced dog bite attorney.