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How Much Should I Get for a Dog Bite?

September 11, 2023 | 6 min read

The main goal of our dog bite lawyers is to pursue maximum compensation for the injuries and damages our clients sustain as a result of a dog attack. One of the most common questions we get from clients who have been injured by dogs is: How much is my case worth?

It is difficult to answer this question honestly without knowing the specific details. Some dog bite injuries are serious or even life-threatening, while others prove relatively minor.

At Burg Simpson, our focus is representing individuals who have been seriously injured or lost loved ones as a result of others’ negligence. Our dog bite lawyers will thoroughly evaluate your case to calculate the full compensation you are due.

Call 702-668-2070 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. We serve clients in and around Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.

How Do You Value a Dog Bite Case?

As personal injury attorneys, we look at cases much differently than the insurance companies. Our goal is to advocate for your best interest and seek an outcome that fairly compensates you for your losses. These may include economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and the future cost of rehabilitation and therapy (to name a few), as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Insurance companies, meanwhile, put their bottom line first. This means limiting payouts and, when possible, disputing liability.

When you make a dog bite claim, you can generally expect that the insurance company’s initial offer will be less than you deserve. Dog bite lawyers can effectively negotiate a fair settlement by assessing the following factors:

The Seriousness of Your Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are expensive to treat and may require lifelong care. They may limit your ability to work, and they often lead to significant physical, emotional, and psychological burdens.

As a rule, more serious injuries tend to merit more compensation. The value of a dog bite case may increase if you suffer any of the following:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Bone fractures
  • Permanent scarring
  • Eye injuries (including the loss of an eye)
  • Loss of limbs or digits
  • Crush injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Severe infection

2.25 million children are bitten by dogs in the United States each year, accounting for more than half of all dog bite victims. Children are more likely than adults to suffer serious injuries as a result of dog bites. These injuries can be devastating and result in lifelong challenges for your child. If your family is facing this situation, it is in your best interest to consult an attorney promptly.

You and your loved ones may also be entitled to substantial compensation if your loved one tragically died from the injuries they sustained in a dog attack.

Long-Term Effects

It is important to consider the long-term impact of a dog bite injury on your day-to-day life, ability to make a living, and more. Compensable damages may be obtained for multiple aspects of permanent injury, including:

  • Future medical expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • The cost of modifying your home or vehicle
  • Household medical care and professional services
  • Assistive devices
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement

When insurance companies offer to settle the case, the amount offered does not always reflect the long-term effects. Dog bite lawyers can gather evidence that proves your right to compensation for current and future losses.

Available Insurance Coverage

Dog bites are generally covered by the owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy. If you have been bitten by a dog, this is often your first avenue of legal recourse.

Sometimes the damages from a dog bite may exceed the owner’s insurance policy. If this is the case, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you explore additional legal options.

Comparative Negligence

You will need to prove that the owner or keeper of the dog was negligent to recover compensation. To avoid liability, defendants and insurers alike often try to argue that the plaintiff was partly responsible.

Nevada follows a comparative negligence standard in personal injury matters. Per NRS 41.141, plaintiffs who are partly at fault may be entitled to partial compensation provided their negligence does not exceed that of the defendant(s). Any damages will be reduced according to the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff.

It is important not to accept arguments that you were at fault without question. A complete review of the evidence by a knowledgeable lawyer may show that the dog’s owner was 100% to blame, in which case you should not settle for less than you deserve.

What Is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite Claim?

Figures from the Insurance Information Institute show that the average cost of a dog bite claim in the United States was $64,555 in 2022. This is an increase of more than 30% from the year prior—mainly due to rising medical costs, as well as larger settlements and trial awards.

You may be curious how much other dog bite victims have obtained, but it is of the utmost importance not to consider the national average as a guide for what your claim may be worth.

The only way to know what you may be entitled to is to speak to an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Experienced lawyers will examine the facts of your case and determine what your particular case is worth.

Do Most Dog Bite Cases Settle?

Personal injury claims generally settle rather than going to trial. While the same is true of cases involving dog bites, some factors can make it more difficult to obtain a fair settlement. These include:

  • How serious your injuries are
  • The amount of compensation you are due—insurance companies are more likely to fight claims involving significant damages
  • Disputes concerning fault and liability
  • The availability of evidence and how strong it is
  • How willing the insurance company is to negotiate

Legal representation is another important factor. If you do not hire an attorney, you are unlikely to obtain a favorable settlement. Seasoned dog bite lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies, review any settlement offers, and help to determine if a settlement is right for you.

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Will My Dog Bite Case Go to Trial?

Not all dog bite claims can be resolved through settlement negotiations. If the insurer refuses to compensate you fairly, Nevada law gives you a maximum of 2 years to file a lawsuit.

Filing a lawsuit is not the same as going to court. Rather, it is the start of formal legal proceedings that may culminate in a trial. Negotiations may resume or continue once the lawsuit is filed, and it is possible—even likely—that a settlement will be reached before the trial begins.

The thought of a trial may seem scary; however, if it means recovering maximum compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered due to a dog owner’s negligence, going to court may be necessary. An experienced trial lawyer can provide the assistance and support you need and aggressively fight for an award that fully compensates you for your losses.

Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers Today

Being bitten by a dog is a shocking and traumatic experience. In addition to getting medical attention for your injuries, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible to gain a complete understanding of your legal rights.

Founded in 1976, Burg Simpson has gained a national reputation for representing those who have been severely injured through no fault of their own. Our office in Las Vegas serves clients throughout Nevada who have been injured in dog attacks and other incidents stemming from the negligence of others.

The dog bite lawyers at Burg Simpson will review your case for FREE. You pay nothing unless we obtain a settlement or trial award on your behalf.

Need legal assistance after a dog bite? Burg Simpson can help!