How Much Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth?
Dog bite attacks cause millions of dollars in damages in the United States each year. While every case is different, it’s still helpful to know what a claim might be worth. Experienced dog bite injury attorneys explain how much a dog bite lawsuit is worth.
What Is a Dog Bite Lawsuit Worth in Nevada?
According to Quote Wizard by Lending Tree1, a dog bite lawsuit in Nevada is worth an average of $44,904. That is the average amount of compensation that a victim receives when they file a claim for a dog bite in the State of Nevada. The average amount of what a lawsuit is worth in Nevada is slightly higher than the national average of $43,653 per claim. Nevada ranks 20th in the United States for the average value of a claim.
How Many Dog Bite Claims Are There in Nevada Each Year?
Plaintiffs filed a total of 169 dog bite claims in the State of Nevada in 2019. In total, they received 7.59 million in compensation. In the United States, there were 17,866 dog bite claims in 2019. Both state population and variations of state law can impact the number of claims and the amount of compensation each year.
Read More: Bite Statistics According to Dog Breed
How Much Can You Sue for a Dog Bite in Nevada?
For a dog bite in Nevada, you can sue for the total amount of your damages. Damages include both out-of-pocket, monetary losses (economic damages) and pain and suffering (non-economic) damages. To qualify to sue for a dog bite in Nevada, the case must meet specific factual criteria. For example, the negligence of the dog’s owner to allow the dog to bite or a history of aggression may meet the requirements.
What Compensation Can You Receive for Your Losses in a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Nevada?
Losses that can be compensated in a dog bite lawsuit in Nevada include:
- Urgent care or emergency room care
- The costs of bandages and casts
- Follow-up medical care
- Mental health care, if appropriate
- Lost wages and income
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death compensation
Can I Recover Punitive Damages in a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Yes, you can recover punitive damages in a dog bite lawsuit. However, there are very high standards for qualifying for punitive damages in a dog bite lawsuit. You must show that the other party’s actions are particularly egregious. Reckless or intentionally dangerous conduct, such as knowing that the dog is vicious and failing to keep the dog secure, may qualify. If the circumstances fit the legal standards, you can recover punitive damages in a dog bite lawsuit.
In addition to punitive damages that may be appropriate in a civil claim, the dog’s owner may face criminal penalties under Nevada Revised Statutes 202.5002.
How Long Does It Take for a Dog Bite Settlement?
A dog bite settlement can take anywhere from several weeks to 18 months. On the short end, when injuries are minor, reaching a settlement can mean getting short-term medical care, determining the final value and waiting a few weeks to process the claim. However, when injuries are severe, determining the value of the claim can take some time. Injuries and non-economic damages may not be immediately known after the accident. How long it takes for a dog bite settlement depends on how straightforward it is to value damages and determine legal fault.
Can Homeowner’s Insurance Pay a Settlement for a Dog Bite Claim?
Yes, homeowner’s insurance can pay a dog bite claim settlement. In fact, many homeowner’s insurance policies will cover damages caused by a dog bite. Whether the policy provides payment or not comes down to the language in the contract. Most homeowners insurance, and even renters insurance, covers dog bites. When you’re injured by a dog, discovering what kind of insurance the owner has can be a good way to collect your judgment.
What Is a Dog Bite Insurance Claim?
A dog bite insurance claim is the process of demanding financial compensation through an insurance policy when a dog bite occurs. In some cases, it’s necessary to file a claim in court. Other times, it’s possible to negotiate a fair resolution by working with the appropriate insurance company.
What Defenses May Arise in a Dog Bite Claim?
Some defenses that may arise in a dog bite claim include:
- Lack of negligence
- No evidence of the dog having a vicious history
- Challenging what local laws apply to the case
- Contesting the amount of damages
- No causation between the dog bite and injuries
- Contributory negligence
It’s essential to evaluate the response to the complaint to identify defenses that the other party intends to raise in the case.
Does Nevada Have Strict Liability for Dog Bites?
No, Nevada does not have strict liability for dog bites. For the victim to receive compensation, they must show that the owner is negligent in some way. Negligence may mean knowing that the dog has a violent history and failing to keep the dog restrained. Other actions may also amount to negligence.
While there is no strict liability for dog bites, negligence, recklessness
and intentional conduct can all give the victim a legal path to compensation when a dog bite occurs.
How Can a Lawyer Help Determine How Much a Dog Bite Is Worth?
Personal injury lawyers can help you determine how much a dog bite is worth by:
- Referrals to medical care to document losses
- Evaluating defenses that the other side is likely to raise and how they might impact the case
- Identifying the various state and local laws that may be relevant to the case
- Using training and experience to value non-economic damages
- Reviewing categories of damages and gathering the evidence to prove them
- Negotiating the best possible resolution given all of the circumstances
Whether your goal is to take your case to trial or pursue a fair settlement out of court, working with a professional legal team can help you seek justice. To maximize your compensation after you suffer a dog bite, consider contacting an experienced dog bite attorney.
1 Johnson, Adam. (4 September 2020). Dog Bite Claims Per State. Retrieved on 5 February 2021 from https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/dog-bite-claims-by-state