Dog bites can cause severe injuries and long-term damage. In fact, you may be surprised just how long a dog bite will affect you both physically and mentally after it occurs. You may suffer losses that include:
- Medical bills
- Lost time away from work
- Loss of earning capacity in the future
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or anxiety
All of these losses add up quickly. Each of these contributes to the value of a potential dog bite settlement. Every case is different, which means that each case is valued differently as well. But, because most dog bite claims are covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, the insurance industry keeps close tabs on statistics regarding how much they pay to settle dog bite claims. In fact, dog bite claims make up roughly one-third of all home insurance claims. They add an estimated $530 million to annual insurance costs.
What is the average settlement for a dog bite claim?
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm did a study in 2014 regarding the average cost of dog bite claims across the United States. State Farm participated because it is one of the nation’s largest underwriters for home insurance claims. As such, they were interested in the total cost so that they could determine what premiums are appropriate for this insurance coverage as well as potential ways to decrease costs in general. As an insurance company, they are certainly interested in ways to reduce claims for dog bite injuries, even when their insurance policies provide this type of coverage.
The cost of dog bite claims is on the rise. Although the total number of dog bite cases had decreased from the prior year, the study indicated that the average cost of a claim had increased. In fact, the cost per claim rose 67% from 2003 to 2014. Keep in mind, however, their version of “costs” includes things like:
- Total settlement amount
- Medical expenses
- The verdicts provided from judges and juries
The average cost of a dog bite at that time was just over $32,000. Georgia is in the top ten when it comes to dog bite claim settlements, meaning it tends to have fairly large settlements. The average settlement for a dog bite in Georgia is nearly $32,000—very close to the typical cost of these incidents.
(In some states, the average is much higher. In New York, for example, the average cost per claim was more in the range of $56,000.)
An “average” includes cases that are very minor and those that are extremely serious. That means that some cases can warrant significantly more money damages because the injuries involved are severe and have long-lasting implications.
Get a Free Consultation On Your Dog Bite Case
Presenting your injuries and damages to an insurance company, judge, or jury in the right way will help you get the money damages you deserve to fully address your injuries and losses. John Foy & Associates can help. We have over 20 years of experience, and our Atlanta dog bite lawyers never work for insurance companies. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.