How much compensation for a bike injury caused by my neighbor's dog?
My neighbor's dog ran at me and into me while riding my bike, causing me to fall. I was diagnosed with a separated shoulder (AC Separation grade 1), along with multiple contusions and abrasions. The physician told me I should not go to work for 4 days due to the pain, so I missed 4 days of pay ($4000 total).
I have seen the orthopedist, and although I will not need formal physical therapy, I will feel pain and have very limited mobility for 6 weeks.
My total medical bills so far are $900. My bike and helmet were deemed totaled by the bike shop, and those damages are $3,600. My lost wages are $4,000 so far, and I would need to take more time off in the future to attend follow-up appointments.
What is a reasonable settlement amount that I should agree to with the dog owner's home insurance company? Is it unreasonable to ask for $30,000? $40,000? Thank you for your insight.
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ANSWER for "How much compensation for a bike injury caused by my neighbor's dog?":
A high, yet reasonable demand for settlement would be at best about $11,000. That's approximately 4 times the amount of your medical and/or chiropractic bills, plus your property damage and lost wages.
In your case, the injury doesn't appear very serious, as you were only required to miss 4 days of work and did not require PT. If you miss more work, you'd just add those further lost wages to your demand.
Most insurance companies today have an "in-house" computer software program which determines the amount of compensation a victim can reasonably expect to receive under the specific circumstances of the injury.
While the software is proprietary, and therefore not available to the public, a victim of a personal injury incident can expect to receive anywhere from 1 - 3 times medical and/or chiropractic bills for a non-serious injury. Serious injuries normally include compound fractures, head trauma, third degree burns, scarring, and the like.
A separated shoulder can be quite painful, but in terms of personal injury claims a separated shoulder is not considered a serious injury. With that said, the offer an insurance company makes is intended to cover the actual medical and/or chiropractic bills of a victim, the victim's out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In your case, even at 5 times your medical and/or chiropractic bills, the settlement you can reasonably expect to receive will not be over $12,000. And from the fact you present, that's a long shot.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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