We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in Joplin for over 40 years.
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.
The medical expenses incurred due to a dog bite injury can substantially determine the settlement amount. Victims may require the following:
- Emergency medical care
- 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 Joplin, MO, will investigate the dog bite incident’s circumstances to establish liability.
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 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:
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.