How Much Can You Get if You’re Bitten by a Dog?

By Chris Dixon


Dog bite settlements are calculated based on several factors; most importantly, a state’s dog bite laws. In some states, if a person is bitten by someone else’s dog, unprovoked, the victim is eligible to file a claim against the dog’s owner due to strict liability. However, in other states, a dog’s owner is only liable if they knew that the dog was dangerous, it happened on the owner’s property, or if the dog was running around unrestrained and unsupervised at the time of the accident. With dog bite laws differing in each state, it can be challenging to determine how much you can get if a dog bites you, but with help from an experienced lawyer, the odds of recovering the most compensation for your dog bite accident significantly increase.

Factors Involved in Calculating a Dog Bite Settlement

If a dog bites a person and the situation meets the state’s requirements for filing a dog bite claim, the victim can sue the dog’s owner for damages. Typically, factors that are involved in determining how much you can get for being bitten by a dog include:

  • Who was liable? – in some states, if a person is partially liable for their dog bite injuries, they are ineligible to bring a claim against the dog’s owner, but in others, the victim’s awarded damages are reduced by the percentage they are at fault for the accident
  • Is there substantial evidence? – is there a police report? Proof of injuries such as photos, a medical report, or witnesses?
  • Did the owner know that the dog was dangerous? – is this the first time that the dog has attacked someone? Was the incident reported to Animal Control?
  • Where did the accident happen? – did the accident happen on public or private property?
  • Why did the accident occur? – was the victim provoking the dog or trespassing at the time of the accident, or did the dog bite the victim unprovoked?

Can I Recover Compensation If I am Partially At-Fault in a Dog Bite Accident?

In some states, such as Alabama and Maryland, which use the rule of pure contributory negligence, if someone is slightly responsible for a dog bite accident, they are ineligible to recover compensation. However, in other states, such as Illinois, if a person is 50% or less responsible in a dog bite accident, they can recover compensation, but their percentage of fault reduces the damages award they receive under modified contributory negligence. The State of Missouri follows the rule of comparative negligence, which allows victims to recover damages based on their percentage of fault in causing their injuries, even if it’s more than 50%. For example, if a person is 80% at fault in a dog bite accident, and the dog’s owner is found to be 20% at fault, the victim can recover 20% of the total number of damages that they suffered in the accident.

How Can a Dog Bite Lawyer Help Me Recover the Most Compensation for My Case?

It can be challenging to figure out how much you can get if you are bitten by a dog with dog bite laws differing significantly from state to state, but hiring an experienced Dog Bite Lawyer to represent your case ensures that you have someone on your side that has your case’s best interests at heart. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence, file a claim, negotiate on your behalf with the other party’s insurance company, and recover the most compensation for your undue injuries caused by the dog owner’s negligence.

No one is more passionate about fighting for your dog bite case better than Christopher Dixon and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm. Our lawyers are committed to helping personal injury victims get justice for their injuries caused by another person’s negligence, and will do everything in their power to recover the most compensation for your dog bite case. Chris Dixon has been repeatedly recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and has earned the status of “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” from the National Trial Lawyers Association.

When you choose the Dixon Injury Firm to represent your dog bite case, you are hiring attorneys that are dedicated to what they do, and will take the time to create a personalized plan for your case to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive. For more information on how Chris and the St. Louis Dog Bite Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm can help with your dog bite case, call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-2724, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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