What is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
July 16, 2019 | Dog Bites
There are many elements involved with calculating a dog bite settlement, from what caused the accident, to where and when the incident occurred. In most states, if a dog injures a person, the dog’s owner is often liable for the animal’s actions, and if found negligent, is required to compensate the injured person for damages. In regards to how much a dog bite case is worth, this depends on the state’s dog bite laws, when the claim is being pursued, and the quality of evidence that’s submitted to support the victim’s dog bite claim.
It can be challenging to know where your dog bite case lays on this spectrum, but hiring a lawyer to represent your case quickly provides an assessment of the legal action you are eligible to bring against the dog’s owner, and offers an estimate on what your dog bite case could be worth.
How is a Dog Bite Calculated?
Every dog bite case is different, but generally, determining the worth of a dog bite case involves totaling compensatory damages such as lost wages and medical expenses and non-compensatory damages such as pain and suffering to set a baseline for a victim’s dog bite settlement. Other factors involved with calculating a dog bite settlement include how severe the accident was, who was at fault in the accident, what caused the dog bite incident to happen, and if the accident happened on public or private property. Depending on a state’s dog bite laws, if the accident occurred when the victim was trespassing or did something to provoke the dog into biting them, the victim might receive a lesser amount of damages, or no compensation at all for their injuries.
For example, in the state of Delaware, if a person is bitten by a dog, while trespassing on private property, or provoking the animal by “teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog,” the dog’s owner is not liable for the injured person’s damages. However, if the dog bite incident occurred on public property, such as at a park or on the street, without provocation of the animal, the victim can file a negligence claim against the dog’s owner to recover compensation for injuries caused by the dog’s dangerous actions.
In other states, such as Missouri, if a dog bites someone, and both the dog’s owner and the injured person are found liable in causing the incident, the victim can recover compensation for their injuries, but it’s proportionate to the percentage of fault they had in the accident. For example, if an injured person’s injuries and financial damages total up to $40,000, and the victim was found 30% at fault in the dog bite attack, the injured person is only eligible to recover 70% of the total amount of their injuries, which is equal to $28,000.
Recoverable Damages for Dog Bites
After filing a dog bite report with your state’s local authorities and Animal Control, an investigation of the accident is started to confirm what happened in the accident and determine who is liable for the incident. If the dog’s owner is found liable for the dog’s dangerous actions, and your state’s laws allow for it, you could be eligible to recover compensation for the following categories of damages:
- Special Damages – medical expenses, lost income, property damage
- General Damages – mental or emotional distress, loss of affection, chronic pain
Talk to a Dog Bite Lawyer About Your Case Today
Dog bite incidents are often traumatic and can be challenging to deal with while recovering from your injuries and financial damages from the accident. If another person’s dog has injured you while on public property, without provocation, you could be entitled to compensation for your harm and losses, but it’s crucial to hire an experienced lawyer to represent your case and demand the compensation you deserve for your case.
Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm are ready to fight for your case and recover the maximum amount of compensation for your pain and suffering caused by another person’s dog. The Dixon Injury Firm has recovered over $35,000,000 in settlements for personal injury victims and will bring that same drive and dedication when defending your case against the dog’s negligent owner.
If you are interested in finding out more about how our Dog Bite Lawyers in St. Louis can help with your case, or want more information on how much your dog bite case is worth, call (314) 208-2808, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation.