Average dog bite compensation in 2023 (2023)

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Dogs can be man's best friend, but they can also cause very serious injuries if they bite. Sadly, more than 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. More than 800,000 of these incidents resulted in the need for medical attention.

If you have been injured by a dog, it is important to know your rights. This average dog bite compensation guide and dog bite compensation examples will help you better understand what to expect if you or a loved one is bitten.

How Dog Bite Settlements Work

Average dog bite treatment volumes provide limited useful information because each case is unique.

But anyone who has been bitten must first understand how dog bite shelters work. Here's what you need to know.

Settlements: A Common Outcome of Dog Bite Lawsuits

The laws in most states allow victims of dog bites to pursue legal claims against dog owners. However, the rules for how it works are different:

  • Some states enforce so-called "one bite" rules, which only hold a dog owner liable if they had reason to know their dog was aggressive and the owner was negligent to avoid the bite.
  • other countries are imposingstrict liability, so owners are liable whether they are negligent or aware of their dog's aggressive behavior.

When a dog owner is legally liable under state law for a dog bite, the victim can recover damages by filing a lawsuit or accepting an out-of-court settlement.

(Video) Texas ranked 3rd in number of dog bite insurance claims

usually a dog ownerhomeownerofrenters insuranceCovers injuries to bite victims. This is the case as long as the owner has liability coverage on their policy. Insurance companies offering coverage may offer settlementsIThey argue that the insured will be liable under the laws of the country. The proposed settlement involves insurers paying bitten victims a certain amount of money in exchange for the victim waiving further claims.

Many bite victims accept settlement offer because they don't want toCourtDue to stress, time and uncertainty. Insurance companies make settlement offers for similar reasons: They prefer to know how much they have to pay and avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation.

Dog Bite Treatment Example: How much is your dog bite worth?

Whether you settle or sue, it's important to understand how much your bite might be worth. This is best determined not by looking at average dog bite compensation or dog bite examples, but by understanding the kind of compensation you should be getting.

When you are bitten by a dog, you must compensate for the actual economic loss and non-economic loss you directly suffered as a result of being bitten by a dog. This shall include compensation for the following losses:

  • Medical expenses incurred as a result of the bite.This includes past bills you've paid, as well as any future bills if you need ongoing care. You must pay for hospitalization, plastic surgery, treatment, and any other care you must receive as a result of the bite.
  • Lost wages, lost ability to earn money.When a bite event prevents you from working or limits the types of work you can do, you should be paid for wages lost due to a bite.
  • Veterinary bill.You may be entitled to compensation if your own animal is attacked in a bite incidentveterinary billTo take care of your pets.
  • pain and suffering.Dog bites can be very painful, and the pain can last a long time. You must compensate for the physical pain you suffer from the bite.
  • loss of quality of life.A bite can be disfiguring and affect every aspect of your life and your ability to enjoy activities. If your quality of life is reduced as a result of an accident with your dog, you are entitled to compensation.
  • emotional stress.If you are emotionally distressed by a biting incident, you deserve compensation. This may include coverage for anxiety or PTSD-related issues if you reenact the dog attack due to the trauma of the event.

Average Dog Bite Reimbursements can help you understand the type of compensation people typically receive for dog bites.

Factors Affecting Dog Bite Resolution Rates

While every dog ​​bite victim should be compensated, there are many factors that affect the average dog bite award, resulting in a wide variety of dog bite awards for victims.

Here are some of the main factors that affect the size of a dog bite site

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insurance coverage

As mentioned above, homeowners or renters insurance usually pays for damages caused by dog ​​bites. But the insurance only pays the policy limit of the dog owner liability policy.

If dog owners have limited liability protection—or none at all, since they don't have owner or renter insurance—this can affect the amount that is actually available to pay bite victims.

With limited or no coverage, bite victims must seek compensation directly from the dog owner, who may not have the money to pay large claims.


Dog owners are only liable for injuries for which they are responsible under state law. In a "single bite" status where the owner cannot be held liable without evidence of negligence, it will be more difficult for dog bite victims to prove they are entitled to damages. If liability is clear, insurers know they are likely to lose in court and can therefore offer more generous settlement amounts.

severity of injury

The severity of your injury directly affects the amount of compensation you receive after a dog bite.

The cost of a small dog bite is obviously much less than a larger dog bite. This is because small bites are less damaging, less traumatic, and less costly than repeated bites by larger dogs in sensitive areas, such as the face.

Economic losses

The extent of your financial loss can also affect the resolution of your dog bite.

When a dog owner takes responsibility for your loss, you deserve to be healed. This means that you must be fully compensated for all actual economic as well as non-economic losses suffered by you.

If your bite is severe enough to be non-working and requires tens of thousands of dollars in plastic surgery, you'll obviously need more money to make up for your losses than someone who has only moderate injuries and can come back without plastic surgery Go straight to work.

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What is the average cost of a dog bite?

While you may be interested in looking at examples of dog bite compensation, it can be difficult to know what your dog bite compensation is just by looking at reimbursements received by others. This is because your own injuries and the laws of your country can affect the compensation you are entitled to.

However, knowing that dog bite insurance will cost an average of $64,555 per claim by 2022 may help.Insurance Information Institute. An increase of 32% compared to last year. In total, insurers will pay out approximately $1.13 billion due to dog bite incidents by 2022.

If you believe you should be entitled to compensation for a dog bite injury, an experienced dog bite accident attorney can help you file an insurance claim to recover your losses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need a lawyer to deal with dog bites?

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You don't necessarily need a lawyer to resolve dog bite issues. However, an attorney may be able to help you obtain a larger settlement amount or resolve your case more quickly and efficiently.

Your attorney can advise you on negotiating a settlement with the dog owner's insurance company and can assist you through the negotiation process. Your attorney can also help you gather evidence and prove your case in court to maximize the money you receive if your case does not settle.

How are pain and suffering calculated?

Pain and suffering are present in many dog ​​bite cases, as the bite and resulting treatment (such as plastic surgery) can often be quite painful. There are several ways insurers can calculate pain and suffering when offering settlements for dog bite claims.

In some cases, the insurance company will pay you a per diem, which is a fixed amount for each day you experience pain. You are often paid daily. Insurance companies also sometimes use pain multipliers, which multiply the actual damage by a certain amount (based on the severity of the injury) to estimate the correct compensation for pain and suffering.

What Are Good Dog Bite Treatment Quotes?

A good dog bite treatment plan depends on many factors, including whether responsibility is clear and how severe your injury is. The average dog bite insurance payout in 2022 is $64,555, but you can get less than that for a minor dog bite settlement, and more if you have a very serious injury.

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How much compensation can you get from a dog bite? ›

There are no set compensation amounts when claiming for a dog bite injury, as each case is different. When you make your claim, you will be assessed based on the seriousness of your injury, the long-term impacts on your life and any financial losses you've suffered.

How long does it take to get money from a dog bite? ›

To answer generally how long it takes for negotiations to conclude and a claim to settle, it can take up to three months on average. Remember, this is just a general estimate, and you shouldn't expect your case to follow this same timeframe. It can take longer and even shorter than three months to receive compensation.

Can I get money if a dog bites me? ›

Compensation in a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Dog bites cause serious and sometimes even fatal injuries. You may require extensive medical treatment including reconstructive surgery if you are the victim of a bite. You have the right to be compensated for all of the losses that you experienced due to the animal attack.

What is a Level 3 dog bite? ›

Level 3: One-four shallow punctures from a single bite and potentially small lacerations from pulling the biting dog or victim body part away. Level 4: One-four deep punctures from a single bite and lacerations or bruising from the dog holding on or shaking.

How much damage can a dog bite do? ›

Dog bite injuries can range from minor cuts and abrasions to life-altering injuries or even death. Bacterial infections from dog bites are common and can be extremely dangerous, if not treated right away. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries resulting from dog bites.

How to get money for a dog bite? ›

Dog Bites in Small Claims Court

You can take your claim to small claims court without a lawyer — but most counties/states cap small claims court settlements at $10,000 or less. If your injury is severe, or you think your medical bills will cost more, you may want to seek legal advice on filing a lawsuit.

Why is my dog bite lawsuit taking so long? ›

Numerous circumstances can cause a dog bite claim to take longer than typical to resolve. The laws of each state, the insurance company, whether the case has to go to court or not, the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim, and the recovery time are some of these factors.

Is a dog bite settlement taxable? ›

Personal Injury Settlements Are Usually Tax-Free

Dog bite claims, defective medical device injuries, and whiplash claims are all examples of the types of cases where your settlement is ordinarily tax-free. In these types of cases, you don't have to worry too much about your tax situation.

Is a Level 4 dog bite serious? ›

Level 4 (Very Serious) SNAP! Get help before it progresses to an actual bite. Do not punish these warning signs or the dog may progress to biting without warning. Instead, learn the signs of fear and anxiety that the dog may show prior to this situation and the common human actions that might contribute.

What is a Level 6 dog bite? ›


Dogs who commit Level 6 bites are not safe to be around humans, or even other dogs. While authorities will determine the ultimate cause of death, chances are these dogs will be recommended for euthanasia.

Is a Level 2 dog bite serious? ›

A Level 2 bite to the hand or arm during play is not necessarily worrisome. On the other hand, a dog putting his mouth around someone's throat was more than concerning, and we took this seriously. Level 3 involves up to four bites that draw blood but are not deeper than half the length of the dog's canine tooth.

What states have the one bite rule? ›

New York and California are states with two of the strictest laws covering animal attacks. Liability laws fall under common law, and they're divided into two categories: strict liability and the 'one bite' rule.

What happens after a dog bites its owner? ›

In most cases, absolutely nothing happens to the dog except that it might be quarantined for a few days (frequently at the dog owner's home). If the attack is brutal or other conditions are met, however, the local animal control authority or court may issue orders requiring that the dog be confined or destroyed.

What is Category 2 dog bite? ›

Category I: Touching, feeding of animals or licks on intact skin. Category II: Nibbling of uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding. Category III: Single or multiple transdermal bites or scratches, licks on broken skin or contamination of mucous membrane with saliva licks.

What is considered a deep dog bite? ›

Level 2: The dog's teeth touch, but do not break, the skin. Level 3: There are one to four shallow puncture wounds in the skin. Level 4: One to four punctures from a single bite. At least one puncture wound is deep.

What is dog bite Category 1 2 3? ›

The WHO rabies exposure categories are: Category I touching or feeding animals, animal licks on intact skin (no exposure); Category II nibbling of uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding (exposure); Category III single or multiple transdermal bites or scratches, contamination of mucous membrane or ...

What is a high risk dog bite? ›

Most reviewers conclude that the higher risk animals include larger dogs, German shepherd dogs, pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, and chows, but all dogs should be considered dangerous; even smaller dogs such as Jack Russell terriers inflict severe bites.

How do you treat a Level 2 dog bite? ›

For level 2 dog bite treatment, you should see a doctor to reduce your risk of bacterial infection. Your primary healthcare provider can assess and treat minor to moderate dog bites. If the dog bite is severe, emergency medical personnel are best equipped to manage the trauma of a dog bite.

Is a dog bite a big deal? ›

Dog bites can and do lead to serious injuries. Especially when attacks involve large dogs or multiple dogs, the injuries may be catastrophic. While all dog bites should be taken seriously and medical care is necessary, some injuries constitute a medical emergency.

Who pays if dog bites my dog? ›

Injuries and property damage caused by a dog are usually covered under the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy. This means that the owner of a dog that has been injured in a dog fight can file a claim with the other owner's insurance.

What can I get if a dog bites me? ›

Apply an antibacterial ointment to the wound. This may help reduce the risk for infection. Put on a dry, sterile bandage. If the bite is on the neck, head, face, hand, fingers, or feet, call your provider right away.

What does a doctor do for a dog bite? ›

What will your doctor do? Your doctor will want to know more about the dog that bit you and how it happened. They will also likely clean the wound again, apply antibiotic ointment and prescribe antibiotics, such as Augmentin, if there's an infection concern.

Why do you have to wait 10 days after a dog bite? ›

The 10-day confinement and observation period for dogs and cats that bite humans has stood the test of time as a way to prevent human rabies. This quarantine period avoids the need to destroy the biting dog or cat in order to test its brain for the rabies virus.

What happens after 24 hours of dog bite? ›

Dog Bite Infection: Cellulitis

When passed to humans through a bite, they can lead to a serious infection known as cellulitis. Symptoms of this infection typically manifest within the first 24 hours of the bite and include: Redness. Swelling.

How long should a dog bite hurt? ›

Most people will notice a dog bite become close to fully healed within 10 days of the animal attack. Deeper bites will take longer, though, and require initial medical attention, such as stitches or even surgery in more severe cases.

Will IRS take my settlement check? ›

The general rule regarding taxability of amounts received from settlement of lawsuits and other legal remedies is Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 61. This section states all income is taxable from whatever source derived, unless exempted by another section of the code.

Does settlement money count as income? ›

If you're involved in a lawsuit in California, you may be wondering whether any settlement or award you receive is taxable. The good news is that, in most cases, personal injury settlements are not taxable in California.

How do I avoid taxes on my settlement money? ›

The first step in avoiding taxes on settlement money is to determine the type of settlement. If the settlement is for physical injury or sickness, it is generally tax-free. If the settlement is for emotional distress, it may be taxable unless it is related to physical injury or sickness.

How long does it take for a Level 4 dog bite to heal? ›

In most cases, a dog bite will heal within about 10 to 14 days of the attack.

What does a serious dog bite look like? ›

Blisters around the bite wound within hours of the bite. Redness, swelling, draining pus, or pain at the bite wound.

How many dog bites require medical attention? ›

Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.

What is a Level 1 puppy bite? ›

Level 1 Bite - Aggressive behavior with no skin contact by teeth. This is normally a dog that is trying to simply scare a dog or human so that he or she will just go away. Level 2 Bite - Skin-contact by teeth but no skin-puncture.

What is the average dog bite settlement in Texas? ›

The average dog bite settlement in Texas is $39,884. The average Texas settlement might be lower than the national average settlement as a result of state-specific laws and the conservative nature of Texas in general. However, every case is unique.

Does nipping count as biting? ›

In some cases, a party or witness may use the word "nip" to describe a bite. "Nip" is a pejorative word used to minimize the nature and extent of a bite, but which nevertheless means "bite." Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 838 (11th ed.

What is a mild dog bite? ›

Dog bites are classified by severity. Level 1: The dog's teeth don't touch the skin. Level 2: The dog's teeth touch, but do not break, the skin. Level 3: There are one to four shallow puncture wounds in the skin. Level 4: One to four punctures from a single bite.

What is strict liability dog bite? ›

1. What does it mean to be strictly liable for dog bites in California? Strict liability means responsibility without fault. In the context of dog bite injuries, it holds the dog owner liable for a victim's injuries, even if the owner did nothing to cause them.

Is the owner of a dog always strictly liable if the dog bites someone? ›

In strict liability states, dog owners are always responsible for a bite that occurs on public property or when the victim is lawfully on private property. Unless the dog is provoked or the bite victim was trespassing, the owner will generally be required to cover all damages associated with the bite.

Should I answer a demand letter? ›

There is no legal requirement to respond to a demand letter, but don't brush it off – and don't make the decision to respond or not on your own. Just as drafting your own response can cause you legal trouble, so too can making the choice to respond or not without advice from legal counsel.

What is a letter for demand for explanation? ›

A demand letter is a document sent by one party to another in order to resolve a dispute. The letter requests some form of restitution to the aggrieved party and is often preceded by amicable attempts to remind a recipient of the obligation. Most demand letters are written by lawyers.

How long after a dog bite can you claim? ›

California Dog Bite Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in California for most personal injury claims is two years. The deadline for filing a lawsuit in a dog bite claim would be two years from the day the bite occurred.

Do dogs regret after biting? ›

While there's little doubt that dogs are capable of feeling primary emotions, which include feelings such as happiness, sadness and fear, there's far less evidence that dogs experience what are called secondary emotions, which include guilt and shame, says Scientific American.

Can you work after a dog bite? ›

If You're Bitten on the Job, Here's What to Do Next

Notify your employer immediately. Request a full, written injury report. See a doctor as soon as possible and follow the doctor's orders. Let your employer know if the dog bite injury will prevent you from working.

What happens if you get attacked by a dog? ›

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if: You have suffered injuries that require you to see a doctor, especially if you are going to require ongoing treatment such as surgeries or skin grafts.

Should I wait for 10 days after a dog bite? ›

Dogs, cats, ferrets, and livestock such as horses, cattle, goats and sheep should be confined and observed for 10 days following a bite, to rule out rabies risk. There is no such option for wild animals that bite humans; these bites are handled on a case-by-case basis following consultation with MDH.

How long can you wait to see a doctor after a dog bite? ›

In general, most experts recommend seeking medical care within 24 hours after you've been bitten—especially if the bite has broken the skin. Dog bites can cause medical problems that aren't immediately obvious, such as rabies.

How do you treat a Level 3 dog bite? ›

For a Level 1, 2, or even 3 bite, it is usually possible to treat it at home. Wash the affected area with soap and water. If the bite is bleeding, apply pressure using either sterile gauze or a clean cloth. After the bleeding stops, apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

How many injections are given after dog bite? ›

The standard schedule is five doses on days 0, 3, 7, 14 and 30, with day '0' being the day of commencement of vaccination. A regimen of 5 one-mL doses of rabies vaccines should be administered IM to previously unvaccinated persons.

Should a dog bite be reported? ›

If a dog has attacked or bitten a person it should be reported to the Police immediately by calling 101 or reporting it on the Police website.

Should you call 911 if you get bit by a dog? ›

It is in your own best interest to call 911, even if you think the bite may be minor and nothing to worry about. Even a minor dog bite can result in serious injury or infection. After a dog bite, you are generally required to go through a series of rabies vaccinations as a preventative measure.

How do you quarantine a dog after a bite? ›

Regardless of rabies vaccination status, the biting dog is issued 10-day quarantine paperwork. Usually, this means a HOME quarantine and requires the dog to stay on the property or on a leash if walked off the property until the Animal Inspector visits to release the dog from the quarantine.

Why does a dog bite his master? ›

"The motivation for lots of dog bites is fear," he says. "Others are territorial - if they're guarding something that they highly value, or defending their favourite resting place, their bed... Or if they've learned to defend, say, a dog bowl - that can result in aggression."

Do dogs feel pain when attacked? ›

Dogs feel pain every bit as much as people do but most dogs have evolved to hide signs of pain because it could make them vulnerable to attacks by rival dogs. Sometimes it's quite obvious- a noticeable limp, large cut or observed trauma such as being struck by a car.

Would my dog help me if I was attacked? ›

Answer: It highly depends on the individual case. Compared with the untrained dogs, trained dogs tend to protect their owners if attacked. But it doesn't necessarily meant that a normal family pet dog would do nothing when a break-in happens. Some of family dogs would also try their best to defend their owners.


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