If you’re thinking of filing a claim or a lawsuit after suffering from a dog bite attack, it helps to understand all the factors that might affect how much compensation you might receive.
In this article, our Carrollton dog bite attorneys will explain:
- The average settlement amounts for dog bites in Texas
- The types of compensation you may receive
- How the value of your case is calculated
- How hiring an experienced dog bite attorney can help maximize your claim
What's the Average Settlement Amount for a Dog Bite In Texas?
Because each dog bite case is different, the payout amounts can vary drastically. Ultimately, the settlement amount will depend on the specifics of your case, the extent of your injuries, and the experience of your attorney. In 2020, the average payout for a dog bite in Texas was a little under $41,000.
For those who suffer extreme injuries after a dog bite, the settlement amount can skyrocket to the hundreds of thousands, even reaching the million-dollar mark in some select cases. Typically, larger monetary awards occur if an animal attack results in the following damages:
- Leaves visible scarring or disfigurement
- Results in permanent disability or life-long injury (one Texas case involved a settlement over $600,000)
- Requires emergency medical attention
- Requires surgery or extended medical care
- Results in the need for mental health therapy focused on victims of dog bites (such as PTSD counseling)
Compensation You May Receive After a Dog Bite
Unlike many states, Texas does not have a civil statute that specifically lays out a dog owner’s liability for damages caused by their animal’s aggressive behavior. To win a dog bite case in Texas, you’ll need to prove that the dog owner had previous knowledge of their pet’s aggressive tendencies or was negligent in controlling their dog and preventing an attack.
Once you’ve successfully proved this, the dog owner (or their insurance company) will have to compensate you for the damages you’ve suffered. These damages can include:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Disability Benefits
There’s no question that you should seek compensation if you were injured due to a dog bite. The amount of your settlement will come down to the specific details of the dog bite incident and evidence of negligence.
Consulting with experienced Carrollton dog bite attorneys will provide you with plenty of valuable resources that will increase your odds of receiving adequate compensation. When a legal team is dedicated to your case, they will research and gather evidence to prove the dog owner was negligent, so you get the damages that are owed to you.
Calculating How Much Your Case Is Worth
Some damages resulting from dog attacks are easy to calculate, like immediate medical bills. Other damages, like emotional distress or trauma, are just as real as the physical pain associated with a dog attack, but aren’t as easy to put a price tag on.
So, how do you put a fair dollar amount on all of the tangible and intangible damages? Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the factors that may affect how much compensation you receive:
- Medical costs, including bills for doctors, surgeries, medication, and physical therapy can add up quickly. The severity of your injuries will play a prominent role in determining how much your dog bite case is worth.
- If there’s evidence that the victim will need extensive medical treatment in the future, money for future pain and suffering will need to be negotiated.
- Victims that have to take time off from work during their recovery period are entitled to reimbursement for any lost income. If your injury will impair your ability to work in the future, you may also be compensated for the loss of earning capacity.
- Victims can develop anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a dog attack. In some cases, a victim may also get an award for emotional pain and suffering.
- Disfigurement (such as a lost eye or scarring) can lead to long-term psychological effects like loss of self-esteem and depression. Permanent disability or disfigurement from the dog bite will factor into the calculation of pain and suffering.
- If a dog bite injury impacts the relationship between the victim and their spouse, they may receive compensation for “loss of consortium,” which includes lost companionship or intimacy.
- If the dog bite proved to be fatal, the victim’s family or representative can file a wrongful death claim. The family may receive compensation for funeral expenses, lost financial support, and loss of consortium.
Most dog bite cases end in a settlement outside of the courtroom. During these settlement negotiations, insurance companies (or attorneys) representing the dog owner are also running their own calculations.
They may provide an inaccurate assessment of your damages, or try to prove you were partially at fault, to avoid paying what is fair. The pain and suffering damages section of your settlement will also likely come under debate due to the difficulty of calculating emotional trauma.
But, by hiring an experienced team of Carrollton dog bite attorneys, you’ll have trained eyes reviewing your settlement. They’ll ensure every cost (both physical and emotional) is accounted for and pursued.
Wondering How Much Your Claim Might Be Worth? Our Carrollton Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help
As you can see, there are many different factors that can affect how much compensation you receive after a dog bite. And because of Texas’ unique dog bite laws, it can be extremely difficult to prove negligence and recover the full value of your damages on your own.
If you’re worried your dog bite claim is undervalued or you need help navigating the legal process, schedule a free consultation with us today. Our team of experienced Carrollton dog bite attorneys will help you determine the value of your claim and gather necessary supporting evidence to make sure you get the money—and justice—you deserve.