Dog Bite Settlement Calculator
Dogs are the most common pet in the United States. Actually, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are approximately 76 million pet dogs in the country. This is probably not a surprise for anyone. Dogs can be fantastic pets since they are incredibly friendly and loyal to their owners. Nonetheless, they can also be aggressive towards strangers. Every year, millions of people suffer dog bite attacks, including people who were not doing anything wrong. A dog bite can result in very painful and costly injuries. Some dog attacks can even be life threatening, especially if the victim is a small child. Depending on the state where the attack occurred, it is possible to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages caused by the dog bite incident.
How is dog bite settlement calculated?
A dog bite settlement is calculated by adding the value of all economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are usually easier to calculate. Medical bills, veterinary bills (if another animal was injured), lost wages, therapy and other verifiable economic losses are reimbursed as economic damages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are much harder to calculate. Pain and suffering are noneconomic damages that are compensated for physical discomfort and mental distress. It is the pain, discomfort, grief, inconvenience, and emotional stress that occurs as a result of an injury. The amount of money that can be paid in terms of pain and suffering will greatly vary depending on the severity of the injuries, if there are permanent scars, the location of the scars, the age of the victim and other factors. For example, imagine if a 35 year-old man is attacked by a dog and he suffers deep lacerations on his arms and hands. He receives compensation for economic damages (medical bills and lost wages) and noneconomic damages (pain and suffering). Now, imagine that a 4 year-old kid is attacked by a dog but due to the kid’s height, the dog mainly attacks the kid’s face and neck. The medical treatment for the child is substantially more expensive due to the nature of the injuries. Furthermore, the psychological trauma induced by a dog attack can have a significant influence on a child. The location of the scars is likely to generate insecurities and other issues for the child as they grow. For these reasons, the compensation for pain and suffering awarded to the 4-year-old child will almost certainly be significantly more than that paid to the 35-year-old man.
How much money can I get from a dog bite?
Settlements for dog bites will vary depending on the severity of the injury. In the United States, New York has one of the highest average payouts for a dog bite. The average dog bite settlement in New York is $55,800.71. Keep in mind that this is just the average, some people may receive much less money and others may receive much more. In New York, dog bite victims are entitled to receive compensation for their medical and veterinary bills. If a dog bite victim wants to pursue compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages, they will need to prove that the owner of the dog was in some way negligent. For example, if the dog had previously displayed aggressive behavior and the owner failed to take the appropriate precautions to control it, the dog bite victim may be able to seek compensation for more than simply medical expenditures.
How long does a dog bite claim take?
It is hard to determine how long a dog bite claim may take but on average it can take around three months to settle a claim. It depends on many factors. One important factor is the victim’s recovery time. It is critical to have a good understanding of the future treatment that the victim may require in order to precisely determine the amount of money that should be paid for medical expenditures. In many circumstances, it is impossible to predict what medical care will be required in the future without first observing the progression of the injuries with the current treatment. Another important factor is the insurance company that is handling the case. Some insurance companies tend to take more time to investigate the case and make an offer than others. Hiring a dog bite attorney can be really helpful to expedite the process. Attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies and to negotiate with them to reach a fair deal. However, if the case needs to go to trial, it is likely that it will take several months, maybe even years to settle.
What makes a case worth more?
The main factors that will impact the value of a case are:
- The severity of the injuries: Severe injuries generally result in high medical expenditures. Dog bite injuries can be extremely painful and dangerous. In some circumstances, people only get scratches and minor wounds, but in others, the amount of the injury may require surgery. Physical therapy may also be needed for some injuries.
- The physical consequences of the attack: Some attacks may cause permanent disfigurement to the victim and the loss of a body organ or function. The location of the scars can also increase the value of a dog bite case.
- The emotional trauma: Like previously mentioned, the trauma that can cause a dog attack will probably impact some people for the rest of their lives. Children may require a lot of psychological help to overcome the emotional distress.
What makes a case worth less?
A dog bite victim’s compensation may be reduced if the dog’s owner does not have insurance or if their policy does not cover dog bite incidents. In those cases, the compensation will be limited by the financial capacity of the dog owner.
Do I need a dog bite attorney? How can a dog bite attorney help?
While it is not strictly necessary to hire a dog bite attorney, doing so can greatly increase your chances of getting fair compensation for your injuries. An experienced dog bite attorney will help you build a solid case, gather evidence to demonstrate that the dog’s owner was negligent, accurately calculate the dollar value of your economic and noneconomic damages and negotiate with the insurance company. If the case cannot be resolved through negotiations, you may have to file a personal injury case and go to court. If the case goes to trial, a dog bite attorney can represent you and help you through the entire legal process that a lawsuit represents.
How can I claim compensation for a dog bite?
To be able to claim compensation for a dog bite, the first thing that you need to do is to get medical help and report the attack to the authorities. Make sure you keep copies of the medical and police reports. You will need to get the dog’s owner contact information and the insurance company information. Try to get as much evidence as necessary and file a claim with the insurance company. Contacting a dog bite attorney is also a good idea. They will help you with the claim process and they will ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
If you have recently been the victim of a dog attack and you want to pursue compensation but you have no idea where to start, contact us. Greenberg & Stein P.C., is a law firm located in New York, where you will find experienced attorneys that will help you fight for your rights. Our legal team has vast experience dealing with dog bite cases and we have helped countless clients be reimbursed for their damages. Do not hesitate in contacting us. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.