What should be the settlement amount from insurance for dog bite? - Injury Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What should be the settlement amount from insurance for dog bite?

Female bite between eyes. Required plastic surgery. Several counseling session for fear and anxiety. Medical bills are around $40,000. Time for insurance company to make her an offer. She does have a scar above her nose and a small one below eye. She is better and looks great. She doesn’t expect much but she should get something for time off work and the pain from everything and permanent scarring.

Answer By Jeffrey Lapin
Lapin Law Offices
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I cannot answer what the settlement amount should be for the dog bite without a lot more information.

Each case is different and its value is based on its particular facts and there is no magic formula to determine what a case is worth.

A person is entitled to be "made whole" or "compensated" for all injuries and damages they sustained.

There are a number of factors that determine what a case is worth. Some of these include, but are not limited to: the nature and extent of the injury; whether an injury is temporary or permanent; your medical expenses; lost wages; and pain, suffering and inconvenience.

If an injury is permanent, a person may be entitled to additional money for these items. At a minimum, the settlement should include the medical expenses and lost wages.

In addition, she would be entitled to her pain, suffering and inconvenience. Assuming the scar is not painful she would be entitled to additional money.

How much depends on how large the scar is and how noticeable it is. The larger the scar and the more noticeable it is the more money she is entitled to.

Without seeing the scar I could not provide an amount she should be entitled to.

She may want to talk to an attorney about her case and its possible worth. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation so it would not cost her anything to get additional information.

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Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 10/24/2012

Answer By Victor Varga

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No bright line rule, but usually between 1 and 3 times the medical bills.

Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 10/23/2012

Answer By Mark Leonardo
Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
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You have provided no facts of the incident which is a component to settlement value. If it was an unprovoked dog bite, one would expect severe emotional distress, particularly getting bitten on the face. The age of the victim is a factor, along with recovery time, missed time from work, what the loss of earnings was, etc. However, if the policy limit is $100,000, at the minimum I would make a policy limit demand. If the limit is greater that $100,000, I would obtain a report from a company that searches for similar cases (verdicts and settlements) with similar facts and injuries. This would assist in determining value and the report can be used or given to the insurance company to support your demand. These reports generally run $300 to $500, but can be well worth the investment.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/18/2012

Answer By Bernard Huff
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
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The injured person should at least consult with a plaintiff's lawyer who handles dog bite and other animal cases for a complete evaluation of her case including the injury.

Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 10/18/2012

Answer By Ray Critchett
E. Ray Critchett, LLC
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Dog bite injuries can be serious and if this one required plastic surgery, it is likely a serious injury. I would be careful about trying to settle the claim without consulting an attorney first. I say this because you may have legal obligations to repay your health insurance carrier, Medicaid and/or Medicare. If you fail to address those issues, you could lose your health insurance coverage, be sued or lose other benefits. Unfortunately, it is difficult to wade through these issues without some assistance. Schedule an appointment with an attorney who offers a "free consultation" to find out what issues you may have to face before you can consider entering into a final settlement agreement with the insurance carrier. Also, if the injured person is a minor, you will have some other issues to address as well. Good luck.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/18/2012

Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
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Not enough information here. Is this an adult or child? Does the dog have a vicious reputation? You have to prove that to get the case started. Did your victim do anything to antagonize the dog How does a dog get in ones face? Get you a good personal injury lawyer and don't try to handle this yourself.

Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 10/17/2012


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Married or single female? Single females are worth more because of becoming "damaged merchandise." Typically, the value of the case depends upon the residual scarring, both physically and emotionally. It is also important to know what the policy limits are. There are 2 basic defenses to a dog bite case: 1) "It's not my dog." And 2) "you provoked the dog to bite."

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/17/2012

Answer By P.J. Javaheri

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If you had a lawyer then they would be able to give you an estimate as to a fair settlement value amount taking into account the age, and other factors.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/17/2012

Answer By Lawrence Adler
Adler Law Group, LLC
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Assuming there are no liability defenses, it will depend on the nature and extent of scarring and if there is any emotional distress. Could well be over $100,000.

Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 10/17/2012


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Sorry to hear this happened. How old is the female? If the dog owner is liable and her scar is still visible, this case could be worth much more than medical bills. I would want to know what happened and how much homeowners insurance is available. I believe that a permanent scar, especially on a girl or woman's face, is a valuable case. And the Ohio Legislature believes so, too, since they have a specific exception that says that a permanent disfigurement permits a person to receive more than the usual $250,000 cap on a settlement if proven. Let me know if I can do anything to help you.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/17/2012

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