In the year 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average payout for a dog bite in the U.S. was $44,760. However, this number varies widely by state.
Average Payout for Canine Attacks in the U.S.
Even among the top 10 states for the number of dog bites, there is a tremendous range. For example, New York has the highest average cost per claim at $55,801. Payouts in the other states with the largest number of bites include:
- $53,603 in Florida
- $51,265 in California
- $48,098 in Illinois
- $47,968 in Georgia
- $47,869 in New Jersey
- $40,854 in Texas
- $35,562 in Pennsylvania
- $31,779 in Ohio
As you can see, there is a large degree of variation in the average payout for a dog bite by state. This variation continues through the rest of the states in the country. The III only reports on payouts from insurance companies. The organization does not report on awards from court cases.
A dog bite may leave you facing high medical expenses and other losses. If a dog bit you, and you require healthcare treatments, you are not alone. Around 885,000 people need medical care after a dog attack in the U.S. each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Securing Compensation for a Dog Bite in the U.S.
You may be able to secure compensation if a dog bit you in the U.S. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive damages for your medical expenses and other losses after an animal attack. To get compensation, you may need to:
- Locate the owner of the dog
- Establish that the dog bit you without cause
- Show that the dog bite led to your injuries
Sometimes, a dog’s owner may be considered liable for the actions of their pet. The determination of liability in a dog attack may vary by state. Some states hold owners responsible for all attacks by a pet. Other states only hold the owner liable if the dog:
- Previously bit someone else
- Has a history of aggressive behavior
- Is a member of what the state considers a “dangerous breed”
Additionally, if you do not know who owns the dog that bit you, you may be unable to secure compensation for the damages caused by the attack. A lawyer might be able to help you identify the dog’s owner and establish their fault for your attack.
Types of Compensation for a Dog Bite
Compensation in dog bite cases may be intended to help you pay for expenses such as:
- Emergency medical care
- Surgeries and medical tests
- Medications and physical therapy
- Lost wages and lost earning potential
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
To get compensation, you may have to demonstrate that all of your medical expenses were associated with the dog bite. It may be important that you get medical treatment right away from your injuries. Waiting to get medical care may make it more difficult to prove that the canine attack caused your injuries.
Consider a Lawsuit with a Dog Bite Case
Thus far, we have considered the compensation you could get by settling a claim with a dog owner’s insurance company. However, this is not your only option to seek compensation after an animal attack. In some situations, an attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
The majority of dog bite claims are handled outside of the court system. However, if insurance agents refuse to treat you fairly, you may want to take your case to court. A lawyer may be able to represent you in the courtroom.
You may be awarded compensation for your healthcare expenses, lost wages at work, and more if you take your case to trial. Note that there is likely a statute of limitations in your state that gives you a set amount of time to file a lawsuit, so you may need to move quickly.
Consult a Lawyer on Your Payout for a Dog Bite
Nationwide, the average payout for a dog bite insurance claim is $44,759. However, this amount may be higher or lower, depending upon your state and your case’s circumstances. Find out more about local payouts for dog bite cases with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
You may contact us by calling (800) 794-0444 to reach a member of our team.