What is the average settlement of a dog attack case with medical bills?
California has what is known as a “strict liability” rule for dog bites. This means that an owner of a dog is responsible for injuries caused by their dog biting another person, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. In other words, if a dog bites you, the owner is liable — and his or her homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company will compensate you for your injuries.
California has more dog bite claims than any other state in the country. In 2017 alone, California had a total of 2,228 dog bite claims for which insurance companies paid a total of $90.4 million.
Settlements for dog bite cases can vary dramatically. There is no specific average settlement amount. As is typical for the industry, insurance companies will always try to describe the incident in a way that makes the experience and the injury seem like it was not a big deal. However, in all cases, the victim lives through the horror of feeling like they are going to get eaten alive. And then of course, there is the physical trauma associated with medical treatment and in severe cases post-operative care, as well as the emotional trauma that continues to plague victims long after the incident has occurred.
In almost all severe dog bite injuries, an experienced and highly skilled personal injury lawyer can get you a substantial settlement. The compensation will be far more than what you can imagine and significantly greater than what you can negotiate on your own.
Factors that affect the amount of compensation paid by insurance companies for injuries suffered from dog bites include the following: the fierce nature of the dog, the age of the victim, whether the bite disfigures or permanently scars a person, whether nerve damage was caused by the bite injuries, whether past or future surgeries are necessary, whether the victim suffered financial losses from an inability to work, and the manner in which the quality of the victim’s life is affected as a result of the incident. In many instances, the emotional injury suffered by the victim is far more devastating than the physical injury.
In severe dog bite injury cases, an attorney will retain the services of experts such as plastic surgeons or psychotherapists to help establish the severity of your injuries. In the hands of a an experienced and highly skilled personal injury attorney, a dog bite injury claim can settle for a tremendous amount of money.