How Much Can I Sue For a Dog Bite?

How Much Can I Sue For a Dog Bite?

The dog owner is usually held liable when a dog bites. The owner is responsible for paying your medical bills. Dog owners can sometimes be exempt from these fees and will not be held liable in some exceptional circumstances.

Even though a dog owner is responsible (or strictly responsible) for injuries caused by his or her dog, it is the homeowner’s insurance policy that pays for your medical bills.

How Much Money Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?

There aren’t always serious injuries or large monetary losses associated with dog attacks. A larger award is only given if a dog attacks you and:

  • There is clearly visible scarring or disfigurement (settlements in these cases can exceed $100,000)
  • Cases involving permanent disability (settlements exceeding $200,000)
  • The patient needs immediate medical attention.
  • Medical attention or surgery is necessary
  • As a result of dog bites, victims may need mental health treatment (such as PTSD therapy).

A serious but normal dog bite injury can cost roughly $45,000 on average, though it all depends on different injuries and monetary losses sustained. In most cases, an accident settlement or award will cover a victim’s medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost income, and other special damages.

People who receive settlements or settlement payments that include reimbursement for medical bills may be required to reimburse their health insurance companies or pay outstanding medical bills (if any). These bills account for most of the settlement money.

Case of a Dog Bite in Small Claims Court

You don’t need a lawyer to file a claim in small claims court, however, most counties/states limit small claims court judgments to $10,000 or less. If your injury is severe or you believe your medical bills may be higher than expected, you should obtain legal guidance from a personal injury lawyer in California before bringing a lawsuit.

Remember that you’ll need to plan your case, exhibit it, and take time from work to manage the research and court dates in small claims court. Hiring an attorney to manage a dog bite liability case may be less expensive in the long run for some people, and an attorney is more likely to obtain more money for you.

Compensation for Pain and Suffering

A severe dog bite can also result in compensation for pain and suffering. The amount of money (referred to as “damages”) will usually depend on:

  • An injury’s severity
  • A person’s ability to function normally after a recovery or injury

Pain and suffering are not standardized payments. Your personal injury attorney will accept or negotiate the settlement offer, which will list an amount of money. It is entirely up to you whether to accept or reject the offer.

What Can I Do if a Dog Bites Me?

You may be so outraged after getting bitten by a dog that you consider filing a lawsuit only to get revenge on the owner or because you feel compelled to do so.

However, you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of going to court. If you determine that suing is the best option, you should think about when you should file a lawsuit and whether it is worth your effort.

Dog bites are covered under a pet owner’s homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, but not everyone has this protection. There may be no way to collect a judgment or obtain money if the pet owner who caused your injury is uninsured and has no possessions. However, deciding not to suit for this justification should be carefully considered with the assistance of a dog bite attorney.

If you choose not to litigate, you might want to reconsider your decision later. Minor injuries can worsen over time, or injuries may not manifest themselves for weeks. In any event, it’s a great idea to have your injury evaluated by a doctor. Then you should consult with a lawyer.

A dog bite lawyer is the right person to evaluate the value of your dog bite lawsuit. In general, bigger injuries (or more traumatizing situations) mean larger monetary settlements.

But be warned, most injury claims must be brought within one or two years, depending on your state’s statute of limitations.


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Posted in: Personal Injury

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