In most dog bite cases, the owners will be held liable for the actions of their dog. This means that they will be required to pay your medical bills if hospitalization is required. Dog owners are held responsible for the injuries their dog causes, but the homeowners’ insurance policy will be who pays for your medical bills.
Not every dog attack case is severe enough to incur large monetary damages. Large compensation may be awarded if the dog attack:
- Leaves disfigurement or scaring and can involve settlements of over $100,000*
- Causes a permanent disability to the victim
- Requires emergency medical care
- Requires extended medical care
- Results in PTSD and need for mental health counseling
In Nebraska, the average claim payout is $48,000 for a severe dog bite injury, but actual compensation depends on the injuries and financial damage sustained. The compensation varies on a case-by-case basis. A settlement will typically reimburse the victim for medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
Small Claims Courts
Dog bite cases can be taken to small claims court without a lawyer; however, most states cap small claims settlements at $10,000. In Nebraska, the small claims limit is set at $3,900. If your injury is severe enough that medical attention was required, a small claims settlement may not even cover your medical bills. It’s smart to seek legal advice from an experienced dog bite lawyer and file a proper lawsuit.
In a small claims court case, you’re required to prepare your own case, present the evidence, and take time out of your day to gather all associated information. For many, hiring an attorney to handle your dog bite case from the start is cheaper in the long run. When you choose a lawyer who is experienced in court, you’re likely to recover a much higher settlement.
Pain and Suffering
Depending on the severity of the case, some victims can receive money for pain and suffering – often time referred to as “damages”.
Receiving damages for your pain and suffering will depend on a few things:
- The severity of the injury
- The extent to which the injury disrupted the victims’ regular life
For pain and suffering damages, there isn’t a standardized payment amount. Your attorney will present the case and you’ll receive a settlement offer with a specified amount of money. You and your personal injury attorney can either accept or negotiate for a different amount.
Should You Sue?
After you’re bitten by a dog, you may be distraught and might consider suing the owner just to spite them. Before you sue you should look at the pros and cons of going to court. You can always present your case to an attorney to help determine whether or not you should sue. At Friedman Law Office, we offer free consultations and all of our cases are taken on a contingency basis – we only get paid if you get paid.
Dog bites are covered by the owner’s homeowner insurance coverage, but not everyone carries this insurance. If the person you’re suing is uninsured and has no assets, you may never actually collect damages or compensation. The decision to sue should be carefully considered with the help of a dog bite attorney.
If you decide not to sue right away and would like to re-evaluate down the road, understand the statute of limitations in your state. In Nebraska, a person who sustains an injury from a dog bite has up to four years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the civil courts.
Your best chance at pursuing a dog bite lawsuit is to hire an experienced dog bite lawyer with ample trial experience. If you have been injured, contact Friedman Law Offices. Our office is in Lincoln, but we successfully advocate for clients throughout the state.
Call us today – 402-476-1093