Dog owners are generally held liable if their dog bites someone else. They’ll need to pay for the dog bite victim’s medical bills. However, there are some instances where this doesn’t apply because the dog owner is not held legally responsible.
Dog owners are generally strictly liable for any injuries their dog might have caused you when it bit you. That said, your homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for the actual medical and hospital bills.
How Much Can You Sue For A Dog Bite?
Believe it or not, most dog bites cases settle for a pittance in court. You’ll generally get a larger payout if the dog:
● Visibly scars or disfigures you with its bite – you could win more than USD 100,000 in this instance
● You’re permanently disabled – you could win more than USD 200,000 in this instance.
● You need to go to the ER
● You need lots of medical care and/or surgery
● You need to get mental health care that focuses on therapy for dog bite victims.
Some dog bite settlements are around $40,000. Remember that this varies according to the injuries and financial damages that the dog bite victim suffered. You’ll find that the settlement will generally pay for all expenses incurred. These include:
● Medical bills
● Out-of-pocket expenses
● Lost wages
● Other damages
Remember that your insurance company (or the dog owner’s) will subrogate if it gives you a payout for the dog bite and then you win a settlement.
Dog bites in small claims court
Yes, you don’t need to hire a personal injury lawyer in London to take your case to court. That said, it does give you a huge advantage and greatly increases your odds of winning. Small claims court will generally hear cases with a monetary value of $10,000 or less. However, you should consult with a lawyer if you have hefty medical bills.
Just remember that you will be representing yourself in small claims court. Hence, you’ll need to do all of the leg work and preparation for your case that a personal injury lawyer would normally do. You may find that it’s simply less time-consuming and less expensive to hire a good lawyer.
Pain and suffering compensation
You can get compensated if your dog bite was severe and you suffered from depression or emotional distress because of it. The amount of settlement you get will depend on two factors:
● Severity of the injury
● The extent to which the injury and recovery affected (negatively) your life
Your settlement, in this instance, will consist of a list of items you’re being compensated for. It will be up to your personal injury lawyer to accept or reject the offer. You can always advise your lawyer to reject the offer if you think it is too little.
Should You Sue Because Of A Dog Bite?
While it may be tempting to sue the dog owner after his or her dog bit you, you must consider the following before filing a case:
● The pros
● The cons
● When to sue
● Will suing be worth your time?
You should consult with a personal injury lawyer before making this decision. Remember that you may not get a settlement if the dog’s owner doesn’t have insurance. Also, remember that you may be financially burdened with medical and other expenses that will materialize several weeks or even years after the dog bite if you choose not to sue!