Visitor Question

What is a fair dog attack injury claim amount?

Submitted By: Darlene (Salem, UT, U.S.A.)

I’m wondering what’s an appropriate dog attack injury claim amount for my case: On November 30, 2010 I was bitten on my right hand by a dog at a home where I clean weekly. The bite broke my right ring finger and caused damage to my tendons (I am right handed).

It required surgery, including small rods placed through my hand down into the broken finger.

I had horrific swelling so I was put into a splint until the swelling subsided, after which I was put into a cast a week or so later.

I was in the cast for three or four weeks and I am now in a brace for four more weeks that I take off several times a day for exercises to get the finger working again.

Home owners insurance is paying all the medical expenses and my lost wages for which I am grateful. What is a fair monetary settlement for a serious dog bite? Thank you for answering this question for me.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Darlene,

There is no set amount for a dog bite, however there are factors that go into determining settlement amounts that may be instructive for you.

If you are finished treating, you need to gather your medical records and determine how much the injury cost, not including payments from your insurance company (which are considered a collateral source and are not included).

Once you know exactly what your medical bills are, you would take this figure and multiply it by 4-5x. Then add to it any out of pocket expenses, such as co-pays and prescriptions, as well as your wage loss.

The formula will look like this, for example:

$10,000 (medical bills) x 5 = $50,000

+ out of pockets ($1,000)

+ lost wages ($2,000)

= $53,000 total

Cases rarely settle for the amount first demanded, however this is a nice starting point from which to begin negotiating. You cannot go UP once you start, so it is always good to start high.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 14, 2011

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