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.
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.
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.
Learn more here: Non-Aggressive Dog Accidents
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,
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