Dog bites cause serious injuries that leave many adults and children in considerable pain. Helpfully, Florida law allows victims to sue the dog owner, allowing them to receive compensation for their injuries.
In most cases, the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy will pay compensation to victims. The Insurance Information Institute (III) compiles information every year about how much insurers pay for each dog bite claim. The good news is that the average settlement increased substantially in 2019.
Important Dog Bite Statistics to Know
According to III, the number of claims increased from 17,297 in 2018 to 17,802 in 2019, an increase of roughly 3%. In all, insurers paid out roughly $797 million in claims in 2019 for these attacks.
The average claim increased by almost 15% in 2019, rising to $44,760. In 2018, the number was $39,017. Since 2003, the average claim nationally has increased 134%, which possibly reflects the increase in the cost of medical care.
Of the 50 states, Florida ranked #2 in the number of claims with 1,268, behind only California. Florida tends to see a high number of claims, which can be attributed to many factors, such as the number of dogs and the warm weather, which encourages people to be outside for more of the year.
Will You Receive More than the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite Injury?
The numbers above represent averages, meaning some people receive more and some less. Our clients often qualify for compensation to cover:
- Medical care to treat their dog bite wounds
- Lost income, when the wounds prevent our clients from working
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Some dog bites are so severe that a client might require surgery and rehabilitation, which can increase the cost. So long as our client was not negligent, they should receive 100% of their medical expenses. The same is true for their lost wages or lost self-employment income. Hold onto documentation to prove how much you have lost because of the dog attack.
Of course, one limitation on a settlement is the size of the homeowner’s insurance policy. Most are for $100,000 to $300,000. Someone with catastrophic losses, including permanent disability or visible disfigurement, might have losses that exceed these amounts. Other homeowner’s insurance policies exclude certain dog breeds from coverage, like pit bulls.
Contact a Miami Premises Liability Lawyer
Dog bite cases fall under premises liability, which is a complicated body of law. Get the experienced legal help you need by calling Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein today at 305-371-2692. Our consultations are free.