The amount of compensation you can expect to receive in a dog bite settlement depends on several factors, including the dog bite laws in your state and the circumstances of your case. Learn more about what factors influence dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts.
Jurisdiction in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Because laws vary significantly from state to state, dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts are highly dependent on what part of the country has jurisdiction over the claim. Generally, a dog bite lawsuit must be filed in the state where the dog attack occurred. Before filing a claim, a dog bite victim should make sure there is a good chance the dog owner is liable under state law. Some states are known as “strict liability” states, meaning the dog’s owner is liable for injuries caused by the dog, even if there were no warning signs that the dog was potentially dangerous. Other states go by what is known as the “one bite” rule. Dog owners are only liable when a dog has bitten before and/or the owner knew the dog was aggressive and potentially dangerous.
State laws also determine what kind of damages can be collected in a personal injury lawsuit within their state. Many states have caps or limitations on punitive damages and noneconomic compensatory damages. The laws in your state regarding personal injury damages can have a huge effect on the value of your settlement. Finally, socioeconomic factors within your geographic area will also impact the average settlement amounts for local dog bite lawsuits. For example, dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts in the San Francisco Bay area tend to be higher than the average dog bite settlement in rural Mississippi.