The average dog bite settlement can vary significantly from case to case. If the dog caused severe injuries, the person might have incurred more expenses, possibly meriting a higher settlement. In contrast, if the victim suffers minor bruises or no physical injuries at all, the damage award may be lower. An attorney can help you understand and assert your legal rights to help maximize your settlement.
Michael Beliz has successfully helped numerous clients recover compensation in many personal injury cases, including claims involving dog bites. He understands the trauma and risks that his clients experience when they suffer a dog attack. He and his team provide aggressive yet compassionate legal representation to clients throughout California to help them reclaim their lives and recover compensation.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite Case?
Every situation leading to a dog bite is unique. For that reason, there is no average settlement for a dog bite case in California. Your chance of recovering compensation depends on a host of factors, such as:
- Whether you choose to hire an attorney,
- Location of bite,
- The severity of your injuries,
- Your likelihood of making a full recovery,
- The impact of the dog bite on your life,
- The circumstances leading to the dog attack, and
- Insurance limits.
The best way to determine if you have a claim against a dog owner and how much that might be is to talk to a legal professional who regularly practices in this area of law. An attorney understands the nuances of California’s dog bite and personal injury laws and may give you some information on what to expect if you pursue damages.
What Might Affect the Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts?
While no one can reasonably guarantee a particular outcome, there are common types of damages that may arise in a given case. Three common sources of compensation include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The specific amount of these (or whether the victim receives these at all) depends on the surrounding circumstances.
Dog bites can cause puncture wounds, broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and infections. These can result in the victim paying hospital bills, co-pays, prescription drug fees, and rehabilitation costs. Medical expenses are a common source of damages in a dog bite case. To recover these damages, you’ll need to show that they resulted from the dog bite. In addition, there may be future medical expenses like plastic surgery once the dog bite heals.
Many dog bite victims may have to miss work while they quarantine, receive treatment for their injuries, or recover after an attack. You may be entitled to reimbursement from the dog’s owner to cover the time you could not work because you had to attend attack-related medical treatments or stay home and recover.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is another type of compensation dog bite victims may receive. This type of damage award compensates you for the pain and trauma involved in suffering a dog bite. It can include the trauma of the event and the effects you experience later on.
How Can I Maximize the Average Payout for a Dog Bite?
There are steps you can take to help maximize the payout you may receive for a dog bite. These steps include seeking medical attention, taking swift action, and hiring an attorney. While none of these guarantee a particular outcome, they help set you up for possible success.
Take photos of the dog and your injuries. Keep taking photos of your injuries to show the healing process. Documenting your injuries from the very beginning will show the defendant how your life was affected from the attack.
Call Animal Control
Call the local animal control. They will go out and gather information about the dog and the dog owner, in addition to getting statements from all interested parties and taking photos of the dog and any injuries. This information will all be put into a report that will be useful for your dog bite claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention after a dog bite is imperative to protect your health. Because dogs use their mouths so frequently and owners do not sanitize their pets’ mouths every day, dogs tend to have a lot of potentially dangerous bacteria in their saliva. The best practice is to go to the doctor even before you show signs of an infection. This helps protect your health and sets a strong foundation for your legal claim.
Take Swift Action
California imposes a strict deadline on when injury victims can file a claim against an at-fault party for a personal injury. In most cases, this deadline is two years, but there are exceptions. Some claims may merit a longer or shorter time limit. An attorney can help you identify and meet this deadline.
Hire an Attorney
Hiring an attorney can help you prepare, present, and effectively negotiate your settlement. Further, at-fault parties are more likely to take you and your dog bite claim seriously if you have an attorney to help you. A lawyer serves as your advocate to help ensure that your best interests are respected during the case.
The Beliz Law Firm Can Help
Dog bites can be terrifying experiences, causing trauma and physical injuries. If you suffered an injury during a dog attack, acting quickly and effectively to protect your physical health and legal rights is essential.
Michael Beliz understands the pain and challenges experienced by California dog bite victims. He can help you understand the applicable laws in your situation and will listen to your dog attack story. He has over 15 years of experience fighting for injury victims throughout California. If you experienced a dog bite in California, contact Michael today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.