How Much is the Dog Bite Worth?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite claim in 2015 was $37,000. It is probably higher today. However, this is the average. Some clients receive more, and some receive less. Many factors go into how much compensation you might receive.
For example, the seriousness of your injuries is the largest factor used to determine compensation. You can typically receive 100% of your medical expenses as well as 100% of any lost wages if you could not work as you recovered. If the dog bite required reconstructive surgery, then you will receive more than if all you needed was a bandage applied to the wound.
The emotional fallout from the attack also impacts the amount of a settlement. Any bite that leaves a permanent scar in a visible area can cause deep embarrassment and emotional distress. A vicious dog attack can also lead to depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Young children, in particular, can suffer severe emotional trauma from a dog bite. Emotional or mental trauma that is well-documented can increase a settlement.
We also need to consider the resources a dog owner has available. Most dog owners use their homeowner’s insurance policy to pay out claims, so we will need to review the policy limit and any exclusions.
Indiana’s Statute of Limitations
If a dog has bitten you, you should not delay pursuing legal avenues for compensation. Indiana gives injured victims only two years from the bite to bring a lawsuit for negligence. If you wait too long, then the dog owner can ask the judge to dismiss the case, which will leave you with no money.
You might think that two years is a long time, but it can take months to investigate the circumstances surrounding the bite and additional time to negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company. Before you know it, two years have passed.