Dogs are man’s best friends, and they can be such cute buddies. However, it might interest you to know that bites are pretty common in the United States. More than 800,000 Americans obtain medical treatment because of dog bites every year. If a dog bites you, you have the right to claim compensation for your injuries.
This article outlines how much you can sue for a dog bite and who is liable for dog bite injuries. If you would like to learn more about claiming compensation for dog bite injuries, contact a personal injury attorney today.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
In the eyes of the law, dog owners are usually held liable for dog bites. This means that if a dog bites you, the owner should pay for your medical bills. However, while a dog owner is strictly liable for the injuries their dog causes, their homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers these bills.
In some rare cases, the dog owner might not be found responsible for the bite and, as such, will not cover these bills. Therefore, if you get bitten by a dog, you should contact a personal injury attorney to ensure that you get the proper compensation from the responsible party.
How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?
The amount you can get as compensation varies based on the effect of the dog bite. If you have severe injuries, you can claim more significant compensation. Some of these injuries include:
- A visible disfigurement (one can get settlements of over $100,000 in these cases)
- Injuries that result in permanent disability (one can receive a settlement of about $200,000 or more in these cases)
- Injuries that require emergency medical attention
- Injuries that require surgery or intensive medical care
- Attacks that result in the need for the victim to undergo PTSD counseling or some form of mental therapy.
For less severe injuries, a dog attack victim can get up to $40,000 as compensation. Whatever compensation you receive is allocated to cover medical bills or a refund to the health insurance company that covered your bills. In addition, if you suffered lost wages, incurred out-of-pocket expenses, or other financial costs because of the incident, your compensation should also cover that.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
You can also receive money for pain and suffering after a dog attack. However, this is a less tangible compensation than what you would receive to cover medical expenses. Settlement for pain and suffering depends on the following factors:
- How severe the injury is
- How much the injury and recovery process affected the victim’s life
You cannot quantify how much compensation you can receive for pain and suffering. The best thing to do is get an experienced personal injury attorney who will estimate how much you can claim. Your attorney will also help you negotiate the offer until you reach a fair and acceptable settlement.
Claiming Compensation for a Dog Bite Case
While the average settlement for dog bite-related claims is $40,000, you can earn considerably less or more depending on how you make your case. This is why it is essential to have the best lawyers representing you in such cases. In addition, when you have already suffered pain and stress and accumulated medical bills from the dog attack, you should not be cheated out of fair compensation.
If you choose to go to small claims court without the help of a lawyer, you can settle for $10,000. However, before you make this decision, you should schedule a free consultation with a dog bite attorney to ensure that you are taking the right step. If the insurance company also offers to settle out of court, you should consult a lawyer first. This is because out-of-court settlements can be considerably less than whatever payment you would have received if you went to court.
If you think you want to sue for a dog attack, you should speak to a dog bite lawyer to evaluate the value of your suit. They will tell you how much monetary settlement you can claim in relation to the severity of your injury. You should also ensure that you bring your claims within the stipulated time in your state’s Statute of Limitations.
Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite cases can be severe. If you or any of your loved ones are involved in a dog attack, you should contact a dog bite lawyer today. Our experienced dog bite lawyers at Calvin Smith Law will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with us today to get started.