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An Overview of Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts in Missouri

Learn about the average dog bite settlement amounts you can expect in personal injury cases. Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien break down the key factors that determine your compensation. Call us for more information.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Missouri for over 40 years.

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What Are the Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts?


Dog bites are distressing events. They can lead to severe injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens for the victims. Plus, they are more common than one might think.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), approximately 4.5 million dog bites happen annually in the US. Most dog bite victims are children, with young children being the most vulnerable. Bites can cause serious injuries, often resulting in medical bills, emotional trauma, or even death.

This startling number highlights the importance of addressing this issue and seeking compensation for dog bite victims. Understanding the average dog bite settlement amounts can be valuable if you or someone you know has suffered a dog bite injury in Missouri.

Various factors come into play when dealing with dog bite claims and settlements. A multitude of elements influences the average dog bite settlement amount.

This article seeks to explore these factors and help you gain insights into what you might expect in your dog bite settlement.

dog bite lawyer at Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien may be able to help you if a dog has bitten you or a loved one. Call us today for more information!

Factors Influencing Dog Bite Settlements


Although each dog bite claim is unique, the following factors have a significant impact on the size of a dog bite settlement:

Severity of the Injury

One of the primary determinants of the settlement amount is the severity of the dog bite injury. A minor scratch or nip may lead to a relatively small settlement.

On the other hand, more severe injuries, such as deep wounds, disfigurement, or nerve damage, however, typically result in larger settlements. That’s why it’s essential to document your injuries thoroughly with photographs and medical records. Having this will support your claim.

Pain and Suffering

Dog bite victims often endure not only physical injuries but also emotional trauma. Pain and suffering, including psychological distress, anxiety, and emotional trauma, can significantly impact the settlement amount.

Working with an experienced dog bite attorney who can accurately assess and present these aspects of your case is essential to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

Medical Bills

The medical expenses incurred due to a dog bite injury can substantially determine the settlement amount. Victims may require the following:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Surgery
  • Vaccinations
  • Ongoing treatments

All of these expenses should be included in your claim. Our dog bite attorneys will work with you to gather and present this information effectively.

Liability and Negligence

Establishing liability and proving that the dog owner or another responsible party was negligent is crucial. If the dog bite happened because of the owner’s negligence, it significantly bolsters your case.

Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien’s premises liability attorneys in  MO, will investigate the dog bite incident’s circumstances to establish liability.

Owner Responsibility

The owner’s responsibility is a central issue in many dog bite cases. Dog owners are generally responsible for the actions of their pets. This means that if a dog bites you while you are lawfully on public or private property, the dog owner may be liable for the injuries you sustain.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage can be another critical factor in the settlement amount. Many dog bite settlements are paid through homeowner’s insurance policies, as these policies often include liability coverage for dog bites.

According to the Insurance Information Institute’s “Spotlight On Dog Bite Liability,” some insurers are taking precautions to minimize potential losses. Certain home insurance companies may refuse coverage to homeowners with specific dog breeds labeled as dangerous, like pit bulls.

In other cases, each case is assessed individually. They determine whether the dog is deemed vicious based on its breed and ask owners to sign liability waivers. Owners can get coverage if they enroll their dogs in behavior modification classes or use the following restraints:

  • Muzzles
  • Chains
  • Cages

It is common for insurers not to inquire about the breed of their dogs when issuing or renewing homeowners insurance. Additionally, the insurance company doesn’t keep track of the breeds involved in bites. However, once a dog bites someone, it becomes a higher risk. In such cases, the insurance company might raise the premium, not renew the policy, or exclude the dog from coverage in such cases.

The amount of coverage available can affect the size of the settlement for the dog bite incident. Therefore, it’s essential to identify the insurance carrier and policy limits.

Jurisdiction and Local Laws

Local laws, such as leash and “one bite” laws, also play a significant role in dog bite settlements. A dog’s owner may be held strictly liable if the dog has previously bitten someone or displayed aggressive behavior. Additionally, some jurisdictions may have limitations on non-economic damages, which can affect settlements.

It is vital to find an attorney familiar with the laws and has an excellent track record of successful dog bite cases. Whenever you need help with a dog bite case, call Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Dog bite injuries are traumatic events that often result in extensive medical bills, emotional distress, and lost wages for victims. Getting fair compensation for your injuries and losses depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury and where it occurred. Understanding these factors is crucial.

Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien have extensive experience handling personal injury claims, including dog bite incidents. Our experienced dog bite attorneys can provide the legal representation you need to successfully pursue your dog bite injury claim. Our goal is to deliver a positive outcome for our clients, and we provide clear, transparent reporting throughout the process. We will work hard to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.

During your initial consultation with us, we will assess the specifics of your case. We can discuss your unique circumstances and determine an optimal course of action. We will explain all available options, including the pros and cons of each. We can also provide an estimate of your case’s total cost and timeline.

Whether you were attacked by a dog or were injured by one, Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien can help. We’re here to support you in pursuing a fair dog bite settlement. Call now!

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