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What Is the Average Dog Bite Settlement?

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Average Settlement Amount: The average dog bite settlement is approximately $65,000, though it can vary widely depending on factors such as the severity of the injury, state laws, and other case-specific details.
  • Factors Influencing Settlement: Several factors influence the settlement amount, including the severity of the injury, economic losses (medical expenses, lost wages), non-economic losses (pain and suffering), wrongful death in severe cases, and state-specific laws governing dog bites.
  • Role of Legal Representation: Having a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer is crucial in maximizing settlements. Lawyers can navigate insurance tactics, negotiate fair compensation, and advocate for the victim’s interests, especially against low-ball settlement offers from insurers.
  • Maximizing Settlements: Law firms like Meirowitz & Wasserberg employ various strategies to maximize settlements, including thorough case investigations, analysis of relevant laws, determination of liability, and aggressive negotiation or litigation if necessary.
  •  Legal Assistance: If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, seeking legal assistance from experienced personal injury lawyers like Meirowitz & Wasserberg can help navigate the complexities of the legal process and pursue maximum compensation.

When a dog bites someone, its mighty jaws can inflict serious damage, potentially resulting in severe injuries requiring expensive medical care. Pursuing compensation through a lawsuit can help you offset those costs, but the average settlement dog bite victims can recover depends on various case-specific factors. Our experienced dog bite lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg can help you determine and pursue a meaningful settlement amount. 

Dogs, especially larger breeds, can inflict serious injuries when they bite someone. Their jaws are powerful enough to break skin, tear through flesh, and crush or fracture bones. While most bites result in minor injuries without lasting effects, others cause serious, lasting injuries with life-altering consequences. 

To offset the steep medical bills accompanying these injuries, victims may consider a lawsuit. The average dog bite settlement often hovers around $65,000. However, it can range from $15,000 to several hundred thousand dollars based on factors specific to the case, including state laws and the injury’s severity. From a dog bite lawyer, learn about what the average settlement is and what are the factors of that settlement number.

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Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts: What to Expect

According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, U.S. insurers paid over $1 billion in 2022 for dog-related injury claims. This amount marked a 28 percent increase from the previous year.  

The average claim payout in 2022 across the United States for dog-related injuries, including dog bites, was $64,555. The average payouts rose from $49,025 in 2021.

However, these payouts are averages and don’t represent all cases. Dog bite settlements vary based on numerous factors, including the dog’s breed and bite force, the injury severity, and the likelihood of a full recovery.

Generally, the more severe the injuries, the higher the settlement. However, many insurance companies often try to settle victims’ cases for unfairly low amounts. Insurers are quick to make a low-ball offer after the incident, hoping the victim will take it without pushing for more. 

These common insurance tactics make it essential to have skilled representation. With help from a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer, you can pursue fair compensation. Our knowledgeable team at Meirowitz & Wasserberg is well-versed in these cases and can help you navigate local laws to fight for the reimbursements you deserve.   

Factors Influencing Dog Bite Settlement Amounts

The average settlement you can recover in a dog bite case can vary drastically based on numerous factors, including some common in nearly every case and others specific to your incident. 

Injury Severity

The nature and severity of your injuries are defining factors in determining fair compensatory amounts. Generally, injuries with more severe and lasting effects are eligible for higher payout amounts, while settlements for minor dog bites are often lower.

For example, an individual who experienced a severe bite to the face might be eligible for higher compensation amounts. This body area is highly sensitive, and damage to the eyes, nose, mouth, and surrounding areas can cause lasting effects and disfigurement. 

In contrast, an individual who sustained a small bite to the arm or leg with minimal damage and no lasting effects may not recover a large settlement.  How much you can recover depends on the factors specific to your injury. 

Economic Losses

As with many personal injuries, dog bites can have serious financial consequences. The costs of emergency medical care, reconstructive plastic surgery, and rehabilitation can quickly add up, creating a significant financial burden. 

Further, your injury might make working difficult or impossible, resulting in lost wages and diminished earning capacity. This sudden lack of income can further exacerbate the financial struggle of coping with a dog bite injury. 

These financial ramifications will significantly affect the amount of compensation you can pursue. These are considered economic damages, which are the measurable monetary losses associated with your accident. 

Non-Economic Losses

The dog bite can go far beyond impacting your pocketbook. It can have far-reaching effects on other areas of your life, making you eligible for non-economic compensation. 

Non-economic losses cover intangible damages from the incident, including emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. These types of damages are often highly dependent on the economic or monetary damages you’re pursuing and vary by case. 

Wrongful Death

Approximately 43 people die every year from dog attacks, including bites. Considering the crushing force some dog breeds can inflict with their jaws, certain bites can result in fatalities. 

If you’ve lost a loved one due to injuries sustained from a dog bite, you might be eligible for additional damages such as funeral or burial expenses, loss of companionship, mental anguish, and loss of financial support. A skilled lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your loss through a wrongful death dog bite claim.  

State-Specific Laws

Most states have specific laws governing dog bites. For example, in Pennsylvania, owners can be held liable for damages if they fail to “confine and control” their dogs, resulting in an injury.  

Laws in some states are more straightforward than others. In fact, dog bite cases can quickly become complicated in states that don’t outline strict rules for these types of injuries.

The settlement amount you can pursue may vary from state to state based on differing liability laws. A skilled lawyer can help you determine a fair dog bite compensation amount to pursue based on the relevant state’s laws. 

The Role of Legal Representation in Maximizing Settlements

Navigating the aftermath of a dog bite can be overwhelming, especially if the injuries are severe and life-altering. While seeking legal guidance might not be your first thought, it’s essential to determine your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Given insurance companies’ penchant for making unfairly low settlement offers, it’s important to have a knowledgeable lawyer handle negotiations and advocate for your interests. 

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, we’re all too familiar with the tragic and traumatic fallout that can stem from a bite injury. We strive to provide compassionate care to help you navigate your case’s complexities. While you focus on healing, we’ll work on your case by fielding settlement offers and traversing insurance tactics to pursue a maximized settlement. 

We’re well-versed in helping dog bite victims fight for the compensation they deserve. Over 40+ years, we’ve secured over $300 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. 

Maximizing Your Settlement With Meirowitz & Wasserberg

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, pursing maximum compensation for our clients is what we do. When handling dog bite cases, we employ various methods to maximize your settlement, including:

  • Reviewing your case during an initial consultation to help determine your legal options
  • Conducting a thorough investigation to uncover essential evidence, including witness statements, doorbell and surveillance camera footage, and other pertinent information
  • Analyzing the pertinent local, state, and federal laws to establish negligence and determine liability
  • Determining the value of your claim based on case-specific factors
  • Negotiating a dog bite settlement and providing guidance on whether to accept an offer 
  • Fighting for you in court if you don’t receive a fair settlement offer

You don’t have to settle for less and accept the first low-ball settlement the insurer offers. We’ll walk you through every step of the legal process, offering sound guidance to help you make informed decisions. Our clients have praised our dedication to fighting for their best interests in client reviews like the following:

If you or a loved one has been bitten and injured by a dog and want to learn more about dog bite injury compensation, our team can help. We offer complete legal services in New JerseyNew York, and Philadelphia to guide you through every step.