Nebraska Crosses Over $5 Million for Dog Bite Claims
People may dismiss dog bites as minor injuries, but they are far more costly than most people assume. Dogs have filthy mouths that often contain dangerous bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are spread through their saliva. Even a mild bite may require expensive medication, and more violent ones can cause disabilities, scarring, and emotional trauma, which also amount to an expensive bill.
Thus, it is no wonder that the total value of dog bite claims in the United States reached well over $600 million in damages for a single year.
Nebraska Ranked in Top 15 Average Highest Dog Bite Claims
Each year, the Insurance Information Institute (III) collects and analyzes data from insurance companies across the country. Within these reports is information regarding homeowner’s insurance claims, which are the main source of compensation for dog bite victims. After reviewing the data, the III determined that dog bite claims reached well over $675 million in damages across the United States in 2018. Nationwide, this included an estimated $39,000 average for every claim.
Nebraska in particular featured some rather interesting statistics. For one, the total value of all dog bite claims was $5.57 million, which is only a fraction of New York, the highest state for expenditure with $49.83 million. Based on the total value of all claims, Nebraska ranks 36th in the country. However, when you look at the average value of each claim, Nebraska is 15th in the country.
This rank is connected to the small number of dog bite claims we have. In 2018, only 115 dog bite claims were filed, but on average they were valued at $48,422.86 each. While you may think this is extremely expensive for a simple dog bite, it is important to understand how these claims are calculated.
How Are Claims Calculated?
When someone is attacked by a dog, they can suffer extensive trauma throughout the body. Victims who have been admitted to emergency rooms have reported suffering deep lacerations, blood loss, broken bones, and infections, as well as emotional distress. In the long-term, victims may require plastic surgery to heal scars and disfigurements, such as costly skin graft procedures.
Overall, a bite from a dog is more than a minor scrape and bruising. So if you were attacked by a dog, the state of Nebraska allows you to file a claim against the owner under certain circumstances. Through a claim, a victim can recover both the economic costs and noneconomic costs of a bite.
Economic costs include all of the financial damages you have suffered due to the attack. While the bulk of this will include your medical bills, it can also include lost wages if you had to take time off of work to recover. By contrast, noneconomic costs include all of the non-financial damages brought on by the bite, such as emotional distress, physical pain, and loss of enjoyment of certain activities.
Altogether, a dog bite victim can pursue:
- Medical expenses, including emergency treatment, surgeries, physical therapy, and medication
- Lost wages or lost potential earnings if the victim was disabled in the attack
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
It is important to understand that most dog bite claims are covered under homeowner’s insurance policies, which generally have policy limits from $100,000 to $300,000. As seen by the average value of a Nebraska dog bite claim, a claim may not reach these policy limits, but the option is still there for seriously injured victims.
If you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and should not hesitate to contact an Omaha dog bite attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. We have seen just how devastating these attacks can be and firmly believe that victims deserve full compensation for their injuries. To get started on a claim, contact our office at (402) 505-8234.
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