Note: In general, you should be able to start a dog bite lawsuit for free, and pay no legal costs unless you win some kind of financial recovery—either through a settlement, an insurance payout, or a successful verdict at court. If your attorney isn’t open to this kind of arrangement, it may be time to seek a different one.
The average cost of a dog bite claim has been on the rise for several years. Dog bites make up one-third of all homeowners’ insurance claims. In fact, State Farm, who provides the most homeowners’ insurance policies in the United States paid out over $109 million to account for 3,800 dog bite claims in 2011 alone. From 2003 to 2011, the cost of an average dog bite claim rose by 53.4%.
But, when insurance companies think of costs, they include the settlement value as well. When victims think about costs, they consider attorneys’ fees and other expenses. Medical costs are a huge factor no matter who is looking at the cost of the claim—because the victim may need to pay them first and the insurance company pays them later. Dog bite claims will actually cost victims much less than they might think, and that is, in large part, due to how you pay attorneys’ fees as a dog bite victim.
How do dog bite victims pay for legal claims?
Most dog bite attorneys, including John Foy & Associates, take dog bite cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that the lawyer you are working with only gets paid if you get money damages for your claim. Contingency fee arrangements work well for dog bite victims who are already trying to keep up with medical payments and being out of work. It allows you to start your case completely risk-free, with no up-front fees.
Some attorneys will require that you pay costs associated with your case, such as:
- Filing fees
- Expert costs
- Postage and/or copying fees
John Foy & Associates does NOT charge these fees up front. We pay these costs on your behalf, and we only get reimbursed for these charges if you get money damages.
We believe this is the fairest way to handle a dog bite lawsuit because it protects you, the victim, from taking any financial risk.
How much is a contingent fee for a dog bite lawsuit?
Contingency fees vary depending on the type of case. But, they are generally a portion of the total amount of money that you receive from an insurance company or from a good result at trial. The percentage payment sometimes depends on the amount of work that the attorney has to do for your case. For example, if you have to go through an appeal, the percentage of the damages might be higher. The most common rate is between 33.3% and 40% of the total amount you receive for a settlement or as a verdict at trial. That means you still keep the vast majority of your financial recovery. In many cases, you can win enough in pain and suffering that you still come out ahead with money in your pocket (as well as all your medical bills paid) after the lawyers are paid.
Costs for the cases will also vary. For example, some cases will require that you have experts to explain damages and other aspects of your case to the jury. Other cases won’t need that type of cost. Filing fees can be several hundred dollars as well.
Schedule a FREE Consultation for Your Dog Bite Case
You have nothing to lose by calling John Foy & Associates about your dog bite claim. We offer a free consultation to learn more about your legal options. You can talk to one of our experienced professionals to determine what your next steps should be. If starting a legal case is an option for you, then you can start a lawsuit with absolutely no up-front cost.
We don’t get paid unless you do. We handle the risk on your behalf so you can focus on healing after your dog bite injury. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.