Sorry for the long story. I'll try to keep it brief but also want to include all the details.
I am a pet sitter who was watching a "senior" standard poodle for the owner. I've walked the dog for over two years and about 6 months into the relationship the dog started to have aggression issues around food and whenever I entered the apartment but was fine once we started our walk. He has bitten me once before and someone else who has watched the dog during that time. Neither bite was "severe" so no medical attention was sought. However, the owner really didn't show a big concern about it (looking back in hindsight).
One day, after finishing our walk, I was going to leave and the dog ran for the door. He had never done that before but I grabbed him by the collar before he got out the door. He just stood there halfway in the door way and didn't want to go back in or go back out to walk, refused to move. I re-leashed him and tried to get him to move either back in or out for a walk (nothing forceful, just trying to lead him and let him decide). After trying for a few minutes, I went to put him back in the apartment and the dog attacked me, unprovoked. I fell stepping backwards away from him and he continued after me and bit me on my left forearm while I was on the ground. I was able to gain control of the dog with my right arm to prevent any further attack. Luckily, he was an older dog so he didn't have as much strength as he used to.
I received medical care (1 laceration, 1 puncture wound, 6 stitches in total). It was a painful bite and I had limited use of my for about two weeks. The wound also became infected but, thankfully, was OK after a second week of meds. All is fine now but I do have a slightly raised scar on my arm from the laceration and the puncture scar on the underneath of my forearm.
The owner's insurance stepped in and paid for my out-of-pocket medical expenses (after my health insurance coverage). They are now asking what I feel is a fair settlement value. This is where I could use some expert advise.
Having no idea what to say, I asked them to offer something and they did, $1000. I thought about it, talked with others and did a little research and I countered with $5000 feeling that was fair with all that has happened. They countered back at $2000, stating that is fair for them because I assumed the risk of caring for animals as a pet sitter.
Unfortunately, the dog was put down the day after the incident. The owner did adopt again and I started weekday service again with her over the past two months (of which she was very happy with) but then her insurance told her that we were discussing the settlement amount and, unfortunately again, she got upset and terminated the service.
What is a fair settlement? Does the history of the dog effect it (I would assume)? Any opinions would be welcomed.