For many people, fear of man's best friend is all too real. If you've been bitten by a dog, you understand how traumatic that experience can be. An animal that we've been trained to trust has turned on you. You could be suffering from medical bills in addition to the trauma of facing other strange (or even familiar) dogs.
When you've been bitten by a dog, what's the first step you should take? Of course you need to get medical attention first and foremost, but after that you need to take a look at your options. Your dog bite claim takes a few factors into consideration: the situation surrounding the dog bite, the liability of the dog owner, and the medical treatment needed.
In order to get started on your claim, you should get in contact with a personal injury lawyer. You can contact The May Firm to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss how much your dog bite claim could be worth.
California is the leading state for dog bite claims in the United States, with nearly 2,000 claims in 2015. Settlements for dog bites can vary considerably depending on the homeowner's insurance, and there's no one formula that will tell you exactly how much your claim will be until an insurance company has done its due diligence and looked at all of the factors.
Dog bite claim settlements have risen exponentially over the years, increasing by more than 67% between 2003 and 2014. This means that you should expect to see a reasonable settlement for your dog bite claim.
At The May Firm, we work with you to ensure the largest settlement possible. The average settlement amount for a dog bite claim was around $32,000 in 2014, an amount that has only increased since.
That being said, depending on who was bitten (for example, children may receive a higher settlement amount due to the trauma and emotional scarring they could face for years to come), how bad the bite was and how much scarring or medical attention it will need, and whether the bite is on an always-visible part of the body (like the face) or can be covered by clothing.
In the state of California, the dog owner always has responsibility for their pet, and they cannot plead ignorance by saying they didn't know their pet had aggressive tendencies. Even if their pet has never shown the potential to bite before, this defense has been outlawed in nearly every state in the country.
Although the dog owner does carry responsibility, it can hurt a dog bite claim if the animal had been at all provoked. And if the dog owner is not also a home owner, they do not have home insurance to cover their payout. These are two factors that could potentially cause your settlement to be considerably smaller.
If you're facing trauma and medical visits due to a dog bite, contact The May Firm today to get the settlement you deserve.