Huntsville’s Premier Personal Injury Attorney

Factors that help determine dog bite settlement amounts

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Dog Bites & Attacks

Dog bites can result in serious injuries, and those bitten may receive compensation for their damages. In Alabama, several factors influence the amount of settlement awarded in dog bite cases.

Understanding these factors is helpful for those seeking fair compensation for their injuries and related expenses.

Severity of injuries and medical expenses

The severity of the injuries sustained in a dog bite incident is a primary factor in determining settlement amounts. More severe injuries, such as deep lacerations, nerve damage or infections, typically result in higher settlements. The total medical expenses incurred, including emergency treatment, surgeries, medications and ongoing rehabilitation, also play a role in calculating the settlement amount.

Permanent disfigurement or disability

If a dog bite causes permanent disfigurement or disability, the settlement amount may be much higher. Scarring, loss of limb function or other permanent impairments can have a major impact on of life and future earning potential. As a result, courts may award additional compensation to account for these long-term consequences.

Lost wages and future earning capacity

People bitten by dogs often suffer from lost wages due to time taken off work for medical treatment and recovery. If the injuries result in long-term or permanent disability, the individual may lose future earning capacity. Settlement amounts may include compensation for both past and future lost wages, and any decrease in earning potential caused by the injuries.

Pain and suffering

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress, also come into play when determining settlement amounts. The physical and emotional trauma resulting from a dog bite can have lasting effects on well-being. Courts may award compensation to address these intangible losses and provide some measure of comfort and justice to the bitten party.

According to Forbes, the average national cost per insurance claim for a dog bite rose 32% between 2021 and 2022. Understanding the variables that determine settlement amounts helps those bitten figure out how to navigate their claims.