What is the Average Dog Bite Settlement Amount?

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

Brown & Crouppen Law Firm
Average dog bite settlement amount chart

The average dog bite settlement amount is $84,368.71. Dog bite cases often settle between $10,000 and $100,000 but can be higher or lower depending on case factors. Each dog bite claim is unique, and settlement amounts will vary depending on case factors such as severity of injuries, liability & negligence, and whether the case goes to trial or is settled.

Note: This settlement data is based on real data derived from cases between 2015 and 2023. Average settlement values should not be interpreted as a standard amount or payout for your case.

Factors that affect the amount of dog bite claims

1. Severity of injuries

When it comes to personal injury settlement amounts, one of the largest factors that determine the value of a claim is the severity of injuries. Generally, dog bite cases that involve more serious injuries will have a higher settlement amount. Permanent scarring, nerve damage, and fractures are all examples of injuries that can be considered severe. Injuries may also be emotional (such as the psychological impact of the dog attack and bites). Settlement amounts take physical and emotional injuries into consideration when it comes to calculating the settlement value. Additionally, medical expenses, including past and future treatments, are taken into account when calculating compensation.

2. Liability

Another factor is proving liability, showing that the owner of the dog was negligent. To have a successful claim, the victim must legally prove that the dog’s owner acted in a way that led to the victim’s injuries and associated damages. 

For example, the owner of an aggressive dog may be found negligent if they had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive behavior and left the dog unleashed in an environment where it could cause harm to others (such as a public setting). 

3. Comparative negligence

In some jurisdictions, the concept of comparative negligence may come into play. This means that the settlement amount could be reduced if the victim is found partially responsible for the incident. 

For example, comparative negligence often plays a role in cases where the victim was found to have provoked the dog or trespassed on the property where the dog was present.

4. Lost wages & income

If the dog bites and any associated injuries led to missed workdays or reduced earning capacity, the settlement amount may include compensation for lost wages and potential future income losses.

5. Insurance coverage

In most cases, dog bite settlements are covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy. The policy limit and any other associated insurance coverage may play a significant role in determining the maximum settlement amount.

6. Legal representation

The decision to have legal representation or pursue a claim without an attorney can also impact the settlement amount. Experienced dog bite attorneys will help you understand your legal options, build a strong case, and ultimately help you to maximize your settlement.

Key legal considerations for dog bite claims

  • Statute of limitations: Each state has a deadline for filing a claim. This deadline begins on the date that the dog bite injuries occurred or were discovered. For example, the MIssouri statute of limitations for dog bite claims is 5 years.
  • One-bite rule: In some states, a “one-bite rule” rule exists, which means that dog owners may escape liability for the first incident of their dog biting someone. However, this is not true under Missouri’s dog bite laws where there is no one-bite rule that currently exists in the state, although one did exist prior to 2009.
  • Strict liability vs. negligence: Laws regarding dog bite liability vary from state to state. Some states follow a strict liability approach, holding dog owners responsible for their pet’s actions regardless of the animal’s past behavior. Others follow a negligence-based approach, requiring the victim to prove the owner’s negligence in handling the dog.
  • Case length: Many factors can affect how long a dog bite case takes to settle. An attorney can help you navigate your case, and ensure that the case timeline is as smooth as possible.  
  • Settlement vs. trial: Most dog bite cases are resolved outside court with an insurance settlement. Generally, this is because they reduce risk for the victim and are generally a quicker resolution. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, pursuing trial may be an option.

Get help from a dog bite lawyer at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm

The dog bite lawyers at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm are highly experienced and can help you build a strong case. Getting started is easy. Request a free case evaluation online or call 888-801-4736. And remember, our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning there are no upfront costs or legal fees – we only get paid if you win.

Since 1979, our personal injury attorneys have helped recover over $1 billion as a result of settlements and verdicts, including from dog bite cases. Our Kansas City and St. Louis dog bite attorneys at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm can answer any legal questions you may have and help you build a strong case to maximize compensation.




Text with a live representative
Text “GETBC” to 314-222-2222
Standard rates apply