dog bite case results

Even though they’re “man’s best friend” and bring much joy to our lives, dogs are unpredictable and can bite anyone at any time. Here in the U.S., over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and about 800,000 of those require medical attention.

Dog bites are especially dangerous because, in addition to the pain and the injury itself, infections from germs are commonly associated consequences.

According to reports, the average payout from dog owners has skyrocketed from an average of $19,000 in 2003 to $37,000 in 2017 – an increase of 93.4%. The problem is so prevalent that most homeowners and renters insurance policies offer coverage specifically for dog bites.

How are settlements reached in dog bite cases?

While each case is different, there are specific factors that will determine the amount of a dog bite settlement, including:

  1. the extent of your injuries, bills for past and anticipated medical treatment, ambulance costs, etc.;
  2. your lost wages and reduced earning potential; and
  3. pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement.

Do I really need a lawyer to settle my dog injury case?

Trying to settle your case without legal representation is a huge risk. In most instances, you will be dealing directly with the dog owner’s insurance company, which is comprised of professional negotiators determined to convince you to settle for as little as possible.

While you may believe you’re getting a good deal, many do not take into account the full extent of the injuries they’ve sustained and the medical treatment that will be required.

Which dog breeds are most likely to bite?

A 32-year study carried out by dog bite victim advocacy group revealed the top ten dog breeds that have highest incidents of biting humans.

  1. Pit Bulls; 3,397 reported instances of bodily harm; 295 deaths.
  2. Rottweiler; 535 reported instances of bodily harm; 85 deaths.
  3. Husky; 83 reported instances of bodily harm; 26 deaths.
  4. Wolf Hybrid; 85 reported instances of bodily harm; 19 deaths.
  5. Bullmastiff; 111 reported instances of bodily harm; 18 deaths.
  6. German Shepherd; 113 reported instances of bodily harm; 15 deaths.
  7. Pit Bull-Mix; 206 reported instances of bodily harm; 12 deaths.
  8. Akita; 70 reported instances of bodily harm; 8 deaths.
  9. Chowchow; 61 reported instances of bodily harm; 8 deaths.
  10. Doberman; 23 reported instances of bodily harm; 8 deaths.

What are the most common injuries from dog bites?

Injuries from dog bites are often very painful and can even result in life-long disfigurement and even death. Among the more common dog bite injuries are:

  • nerve damage;
  • torn tendons and ligaments;
  • head and neck wounds;
  • rabies;
  • scarring;
  • broken bones; and
  • emotional trauma.

What should I do if I’m bitten by a dog?

To make sure your legal rights are protected, there are several things you should do after you’ve been bitten by a dog.

  1. See a doctor immediately so that medical treatment can be initiated and documentation of your injuries can begin.
  2. If possible, take photographs of the scene of the incident. This is especially important if the dog is not leashed or there are problems with any fencing.
  3. Take photographs, also, of your injuries to add to the documentation.
  4. Make sure you know the name of the owner and his or her insurance provider.

If you’ve suffered a dog bite, call the Haymond Law Firm, New England’s most trusted personal injury lawyers.

It’s vital that you have a personal injury lawyer with sound experience in dog injury claims.

With offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, the Haymond Law Firm has the resources to energetically and aggressively fight for your interests.

For a free consultation, call us at 1-800-HAYMOND (1-800-429-6663).

Real life case results

Case 1: New London dog bite victim awarded

When Addison Hall moved to New London last year, she thought she was getting a fresh start in a friendly neighbourhood. Instead, she got Seth Sawyer. After moving in next door to the retiree, Hall started waking up in the middle of the night due to loud, persistent barking outside. She investigated and found Sawyer’s 70-pound Dalmatian, Rocky, chained to a tree.

Hall spent months trying to persuade Sawyer to bring Rocky inside; she also observed him handling the dog roughly and leaving him outside for hours without water or food. One night, she saw him kick Rocky and threatened to call the police. He ignored her and kicked the dog even harder, prompting her to leap over the fence and intervene on Rocky’s behalf. During the altercation, Sawyer tossed Hall aside and she landed on the dog. Disoriented and scared, he bit down on her left forearm.

Case Facts

Sawyer saw blood and immediately offered to give Rocky away, and she took advantage of the heated moment. Hall called a friend who picked up Rocky and then took her to the emergency room. Hall’s bite required 25 stitches, but she feared Rocky, not Sawyer, would pay the ultimate price if she reported it. The bite grew infected, and after her second trip to the emergency room, Hall took a nurse’s advice and scheduled a free case evaluation with The Haymond Law Firm. We pursued a claim in civil court for money damages immediately seeking compensation for the serious injury and personal stress sustained.

Case Results


We knew Hall’s case was solid but the offer to resolve the case was far too little in our opinion.  We prepared the case for trial. Sawyer’s attorney reached out just before jury selection with a low offer. Because Hall acted in Rocky’s interest and chose to forego a criminal complaint, she spared Sawyer from a one-year prison sentence for animal abuse under Connecticut state law.

Sawyer’s reckless and reprehensible behaviour toward both his dog and his neighbour constituted gross negligence, and we knew a harsher punishment would deter future abuse. We submitted a counter-offer which they accepted. Hall plans to use some of the money to buy Rocky a soft, warm bed for his new, indoor-only home.

Case 2: HLF extracts large settlement for dog bite

While visiting his mother, a young man tried to break up a fight between two of his mother’s dogs.

Case Facts

Unfortunately, one of the dogs bit him on the ring finger and caused a severe laceration.  The insurer tried to claim that the dogs were indeed the man’s dogs, and therefore he could not sue himself and was not entitled to any compensation.

Case Results


We showed that the dogs were, in fact, his mother’s and that he was not the owner or keeper of the dog by producing evidence that he had moved out of his mother’s house three months earlier.  The man had to have his ring finger amputated and we negotiated a large settlement.


How a Motorcycle Attorney Helped Friends Settle Case After Dog Causes Crash and Injuries

Jim went over to his best friend’s house in Orange County, NY to lend a hand with a kitchen renovation. It was really hard work, and he was looking forward to finishing the job so he could enjoy his downtime with an afternoon motorcycle ride. Jim called his wife and told her he would be a little late for dinner as he was meeting up with friends.

Jim turned on the engine, and waved goodbye to his buddy… However, Jim had forgotten that his friend had put the dog in the garage while they worked. Unfortunately, the dog had a great fear of loud noises and Jim’s bike had straight pipes. As Jim was about to drive off, the dog broke loose from its chain and rushed out of the garage and darted toward the motorcycle. Jim swerved to avoid hitting his friend’s dog. His bike ricocheted off a tree and Jim wiped out on the sidewalk.

Motorcycle Attorney: John Haymond with Friends at Motorcycle Event

Motorcycle Attorney: John Haymond with Friends at Motorcycle Event

It was a brutal accident. Jim suffered horrific burns on his legs from the motorcycle’s exhaust pipe, a broken arm and road rash all up and down his sides. The accident totaled Jim’s motorcycle. Suffice to say, Jim didn’t make it home for dinner because he spent the night getting treatment at the local hospital.

Jim and his wife Karen met with The Haymond Law Firm to talk over their options. They met Attorney John Haymond at a local motorcycle event. They were reluctant to sue his friend because they were good buddies. But Jim couldn’t pay for his medical bills and purchase a new bike. We explained that the dog was not properly controlled and created a hazard. We also obtained very damaging reports from neighbors concerning the dog. Due to the fact that Jim and the homeowner were close friends, The Haymond Law Firm met with the homeowner. As a result of the meeting, he cooperated and provided a statement confirming all the reports. He also gave us a statement about how the injury impacted Jim’s life.

We were able to convince the insurance company to throw in the towel and turn over the entire  homeowners insurance. We let them know that the homeowner was prepared to testify on Jim’s behalf. All while avoiding having to bring Jim’s friend to court. A friendship salvaged and a family protected from financial ruin.