What factors influence how much my dog bite claim is worth?

Dog bite claimIf you have been bitten by a dog in Norfolk, you may wonder how much compensation you could receive for your injuries. You need to keep in mind that every dog bite case is unique, and your claim’s value will depend on various factors. However, an experienced premises liability attorney can assist you in determining the approximate value of your claim based on the types of compensation awarded under Virginia’s dog bite laws and factors that can influence how much your case is worth.

Four Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Claim

Your attorney would first determine the amount of compensation you could recover if you win your case. In Virginia, you can recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in dog bite cases. 

Your lawyer would also weigh several factors that can make your case stronger or weaker and might significantly affect your claim’s worth. Some factors they would consider include the following:

  • Severity of your injuries. The severity of your dog bite injuries will significantly impact the potential value of your claim. More severe injuries requiring extensive, future medical treatment and resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities are generally associated with higher compensation amounts.
  • Disputes with the insurance company. The dog owner’s insurance company may try to downplay the severity of your injuries, the reasonableness of your medical treatments, or their insured’s liability to try to deny your claim or pay you less money in your settlement. If any disputes are valid, this could weaken your case and the overall value of your claim. 
  • Your partial fault. Virginia follows the contributory negligence rule, which means that if you are found even slightly responsible for the dog bite incident, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. However, an attorney can analyze the circumstances of your case and help present a strong argument to minimize any potential fault attributed to you.
  • Mistakes. If you made mistakes when filing your claim, such as delaying obtaining medical care, posting about your dog bite on social media, or agreeing to give a recorded statement, this could hurt your case. While your lawyer will have arguments to defeat the insurance adjuster’s disputes, you may have to accept less damages to settle your claim.