There is no set period for how long it takes to settle a dog bite claim. The timeframe depends on a few factors, such as whether you settle with the dog owner’s insurance company, or your case goes to trial.
Your Health Impacts How Long It Takes to Settle a Claim
There is no way to predict exactly how long it will take to settle a dog bite claim. If your case appears very straightforward, your claim could be resolved within one to three months. However, it may take much longer, depending upon the severity of your injuries.
A settlement for a dog bite may allow you to get compensation for your medical expense. An attorney might advise you not to try to settle until your doctor gives an accurate prognosis, and you can predict the amount of money it will cost to cover the treatment. If not, they could advise you to wait until you are fully healed.
It may take months of treatment to recover from a dog bite. Once you finish your treatment, it may be time to settle your claim with the insurance company.
Begin Working on a Dog Bite Claim Quickly
You may not wish to settle your dog bite claim until you are fully recovered from your injuries. However, this does not mean that you should delay in getting help. You may want to take a number of steps immediately after a canine attack, so you are ready to settle your claim when the time comes. It may be a good idea to:
- Contact animal control after a dog bite.
- Inform local law enforcement of the attack.
- Get medical treatment.
- Reach out to a dog bite law firm.
A lawyer may be able to start working on your claim right away so that when the time comes to settle, they can be ready. Your lawyer may need to identify the dog’s owner and to establish that you were not at-fault for the attack.
One in five people who are bitten by a dog will need medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Taking your animal attack seriously will not only ensure your health, but it will also help to protect your legal claim.
Compensation for Settling a Dog Bite Claim
Settling a dog bite claim may allow you to get compensation for your medical expenses. Dog bites often require extensive medical care. Around 334,000 dog bites are so severe that they require emergency room treatment, according to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Depending upon your situation, you may need:
- Emergency treatment
- Hospitalization or surgeries
- Medications or physical therapy
Your settlement may allow you to obtain compensation for these losses. You may also be able to secure compensation for wages you lost at work while you were recovering from a canine attack. If you experience injuries that leave you with a disability, you may get damages for lost earning potential.
Finally, dog bites may leave you dealing with emotional trauma. Mental anguish is a common by-product of an animal attack, especially if the victim is very young. Your settlement may cover your pain and suffering, depending upon your situation.
Options for a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Most dog bite claims are resolved outside of the court system and through a settlement. However, this form of resolution does not work in all cases.
A dog bite lawyer may advise you to take your case to court in some situations. A trial may allow you to get compensation for your losses if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly. However, lawsuits may take even longer to resolve than a settlement.
A lawsuit in a dog attack case could potentially take years to resolve. Lawsuits may also leave you with expensive courtroom fees and other expenses. You may wish to discuss all of your legal options with a lawyer before you decide on the best method to pursue compensation. This may allow you to resolve a dog bite claim more quickly.
Learn More About Settling a Dog Bite Claim with a Lawyer
It could take weeks or months to settle your case. Often, how long it takes to settle a dog bite claim depends upon the severity of your injuries. You may get more specific answers about the timeframe of your case with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
You may reach out to a member of our team when you call (800) 794-0444. We provide free, no-risk case evaluations. We also do not take any payment up front—we only get paid when your case results in compensation.