In the US, 34 dog bite-related fatalities were reported in 2015. Although it is regulated in most Military Housing areas and in over 700 cities across the US, there still has been a number of deaths due to dog bites in the country. Violent dogs going after nonviolent dogs is terrible as well.
Reports suggest that pit bulls contributed to 82% of these deaths. About 6.6% of the total dog population in the country is made up of pit bulls. In 2015, pit bulls and Rottweilers, the second most lethal breed of dog, together accounted for 91% of the total recorded deaths.
No dog bite case is the same, but generally speaking, there are two factors that impact a dog bite settlement – what the lawsuit parties estimate a jury would give the plaintiff or victim after a trial or whether the defendant or dog owner feels that they have a chance of being found liable.
Risk of Losing the Case at Trial
For a defendant settle, they must feel that there is a chance that they will lose the case at trial. This means that the circumstances that surround the dog bite incident meet the legal requirements in the “dog bite” statute of the state or its case law.
If there is a strict dog bite statute in the state, it will be relatively easy to evaluate if the statute was violated by the dog owner or whether they will be found liable. If the statute is less strict or there is no statute at all, the lawsuit parties will have to take guesses at whether the plaintiff will be able to convince the jury of, for instance, whether the dog’s tendency to bite was known by the owner.
If high potential damages are involved in the case, it is relatively clear that the owner’s dog bit the plaintiff. Also, if there are no clear defenses, it is likely that the defendant will settle for some amount, in particular if the lawsuit is being defended by the defendant’s insurance company.
Apart from the liability of the defendant, the other important factor is the losses incurred by the plaintiff that stem from the dog bite accident and how much compensation they would recover in damages. Accurately estimating the potential recovery is difficult due to one main reason – a jury will most likely make the decision on how much money the defendant must pay the plaintiff.
It is easier to calculate and predict some damages like medical bills and lost wages, for settlement purposes. For damages such as “pain and suffering,” which are subjective and less concrete, predictions are made on educated guesses based on past awards given in other such dog bite cases. As every case and every jury is different, pain, and suffering damages will only be predicted within a broad range even by the best analysis.
The Best Law Firm in the Biggest American City
If you or a loved one is injured in a dog bite incident, you should seek the help of a qualified and reliable personal injury attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
RMFW Law knows how to win cases. We have been doing this for years. We have won millions of dollars for past clients. You too can be on this fantastic list. Give us a call. We will set up a meeting. The first meeting is free. You lose or risk nothing by calling us. You risk a lot by not calling RMFW Law.