What is the Average Hospital Bill for Dog Bite Injuries?

Dogs are the most popular pet in America and can be found in over 69 million households throughout the country. Unfortunately, ‘man’s best friend’ can be a danger too; dogs bite roughly 4.5 million people each year. Most dog-bite victims are children, and 20% of all dog bites require medical attention. 

Milwaukee and the Milwaukee metro area have a history of dog bite incidents, and the City of Milwaukee has special requirements for owners of pitbulls, rottweilers, and several other terrier breeds. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the other most damaging biting dogs are mixed breed dogs and German shepherds. 

Whether a dog bite requires only basic medical treatment or reconstructive surgery, these injuries can have a profound impact on your quality of life: dog bites can leave permanent damage to your body, cause infections, and scarring. These injuries can be costly. In this blog, we’ll break down the costs associated with dog bites, such as the average hospital bill for a dog bite, average insurance claim cost, and lost wages while recovering.

The Average Hospital Bill for Dog Bites in Wisconsin

The average cost of a hospital stay due to a dog bite is around $23,680. By comparison, the average cost of any general injury-related hospital stay is roughly $15,743.

The cost of a hospital bill for a dog bite will depend on the severity and type of injuries, as well as where the injuries are located. Injuries such as deep puncture wounds, damage to nerves, muscles, or tendons, and infections will require different treatments.

Average Insurance Claim for Dog Bites in Wisconsin

According to data from a 2019 joint report by State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost per claim for dog bites in Wisconsin was $43,593. These claim costs represent medical costs, settlements, and other damages awarded to victims. Some dog bites require additional medical procedures such as plastic surgery, which will result in a higher claim cost.

Other Costs Associated With Dog Bites

The immediate costs associated with dog bites such as hospital bills and medical expenses can obscure other costs which can have an equally profound impact on victims’ quality of life.

Wages Lost Due to Recovery from Dog Bites

Depending on the severity, type, and location of the injury, a dog-bite victim may be unable to work for the duration of their recovery. For example, nerve damage in the arms or hands could impair a victim’s ability to perform their work. With well over half the U.S. population living paycheck to paycheck, wages lost during recovery from a dog bite can disrupt a victim’s life as much as the bite itself.

Physical Therapy Needed Following Dog Bites

Recovery doesn’t stop the moment a dog-bite victim leaves the hospital. For victims who suffered nerve damage, injuries to muscles, or broken bones as a result of dog bites, costly physical therapy sessions may be a necessary part of the recovery and return to health.

Trauma Resulting from Dog Bites

Finally, there are costs associated with dog bites that aren’t strictly financial. Being attacked by a dog can leave victims with both physical and emotional scars, sometimes amounting to PTSD. Where some people see a furry friend, victims of dog bites may see a reminder of a terrifying experience. While it’s difficult to place a dollar value on trauma, the emotional discomfort experienced by dog-bite victims can cost them their peace of mind.

What Should You Do If a Dog Bites You?

If the wound is serious, deep, won’t stop bleeding, or if you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last five years, seek medical attention right away. After a dog bites you, make sure you thoroughly wash the wound with warm, soapy water. 

Even if you don’t think the wound is serious, you may want to consult a medical professional to be safe. Dogs can carry numerous diseases that can be passed to you in the event of a bite, including rabies, Pasteurella, tetanus, and Staph infections—these diseases can be serious, and even deadly, if they go untreated.

Dog bites should be reported to your local animal control agency, and you should try to obtain records indicating whether the dog has been vaccinated against rabies. 

Finally, if you’ve been attacked or injured by a dog, contact a personal injury lawyer who can get you the compensation you deserve. 

How Can a Dog Bite Lawyer Help You?

If you or your child have been attacked or injured by a dog, it can be a traumatic experience that disrupts your way of life. The recovery period can be extremely taxing, both physically and mentally, leaving little energy for navigating the complex legal processes to get justice.

Enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney can not only save you time and energy during a stressful period of time, it can also ensure you receive the appropriate amount of compensation following expensive medical care and costly time away from work. 

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

The dog owner or keeper’s insurance will try and pay out the smallest amount they possibly can, but after everything you’ve been through, you deserve more. You can get more too; dog bite victims who seek the guidance of an attorney recover 3.5 to 5 times more from insurers than victims who don’t use an attorney. 

Having an attorney on your side can make the difference when it comes to restoring your comfort, peace of mind, and quality of life. Your attorney will handle communications with the predatory insurers hoping to settle for less than you deserve, and help you understand your rights every step of the way.

Pasternak and Zirgibel are Here to Help

If you or your child have been attacked or injured by a dog, contact the personal injury attorneys you can trust. With over 50 years of combined experience, Frank Pasternak and Jeff Zirgibel are highly-skilled attorneys who will personally handle your case and fight to get the justice you deserve. 

Don’t deny yourself justice; contact Pasternak and Zirgibel today for a free consultation.