How Much Can I Get For My Dog Bite Case?
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So you've been bit by a dog in Missouri. You've gone to the hospital to get treated, possibly missed work, and maybe some of your own property was damaged in the attack. It's entirely logical to wonder what you can get back in damages via an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the owner of the dog that bit you.
Medical Damages from Dog Bites
Dogs are natural predators. With sharp teeth and strong jaws, their bites can be particularly vicious. The severity of your injuries can vary based on the size and breed of the dog that bit you. However, some of the most common dog bite injuries are:
- Cuts, bruises, or lacerations
- Infection: canine saliva can carry multiple bacteria strains that are harmful to humans
- Broken or cracked bones
- Damage to nerves and scarring
- Rabies or tetanus
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional trauma
The good news is that all medical expenses resulting from a dog bite can be recovered in a judgment or settlement. This includes not only your hospital or prescription bills, but also rehab costs and mental health consultations. You can also replace broken or damaged property and get additional damages for the pain and suffering the attack caused you.
What Goes Into An Award
Each jury award or settlement in a dog bite lawsuit takes into account a large number of factors. These include the severity of your dog bite injuries, how much treatment you required, and how long you were unable to earn a living after your attack.
Most dog bite lawsuits are settled before they go in front of a jury. Insurance companies like settlements because they avoid the risk of large jury awards, while plaintiffs may want a settlement as it allows for a quick resolution without the time and expense of a trial. According to data from a leading insurance firm, the average dog bite lawsuit settlement in Missouri for 2019 was $47,411.
However, you should keep in mind that Missouri is also what is known as a "comparative fault" state. What this means is that if a judge or jury decides that both parties were at least somewhat responsible for a dog bite attack, they can reduce the reward proportial to how much the plaintiff was liable.
Talk To An Experienced Missouri Dog Bite Attorney
If you or someone you know has been bit by a dog, they may be entitled to receive damages from the dog's owner or their insurance company. But before you file that claim, you'll need a lawyer with experience handling dog bite injury cases to help you throughout the process. A top Missouri Dog Bite Lawyer can assess your claim, gather information and evidence, and support you whether you go to trial or settle.