How Much Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?

Dog bites can be a scary occurrence, for both the owner of the dog and the person who gets bit. And if you get injured in a dog bite, you may be wondering, “how much can I sue for a dog bite?”

Well, the answer depends on a few things, from the severity of the damage, to the owner’s responsibility, to insurance. So let’s take a quick look at some of the factors, so you can understand how much you can sue for a dog bite.

Who is liable for dog bites?

When a dog bite occurs, the owner of the dog can be held liable, or responsible, in two ways. Which one it is may affect how much you are owed, and if they or their insurance have to pay.

The first is negligence. This means that the dog owner was in some way not properly handling the dog. This could mean that the dog wasn’t leashed when they should have been, or wasn’t restrained, or something like that. This is typically less serious than the second type, strict liability.

Strict liability means that the owner knew the dog could pose a risk and didn’t take proper precautions. If a dog owner knows that their dog is dangerous, it is their job to keep their dog away from other people and to contain them however possible.

Either type of liability can mean that they still have to pay you, and you can sue them. However, strict liability tends to be more serious.

How much can you sue for a dog bite?

Cases range anywhere from $15000 to $30000 on average, although in rare cases the amount can be much larger.

The reason the money paid can be so high is because in most cases, the dog owner’s insurance will pay the settlement, and prices can be high. This means you can get a lot of money for a dog bite injury.

How much you actually sue for depends on the specific circumstances. You should consult a dog bite attorney to find out exactly what your needs are.

If you have to have medical treatment due to the bite, you can almost always sue for at least that amount. Since medical bills can be expensive, this means the lawsuit might be for a lot of money. Again, insurance is usually the one who pays for it.

You can also sue for emotional damages, also known as trauma and stress. If the dog bite caused you significant stress or trauma, as they often do, you can be reimbursed for that.

When you combine those two together, it means that both your medical bills and your stress can be reimbursed. So if you have been through a dog bite, it is very likely that you can sue for as much as you need, so you get properly reimbursed for all of your stress and medical bills.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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