Between 2005 and 2013, there were an annual average of 337,103 emergency department visits due to dog bites in the United States. 1 in 5 of those attacks results in medical treatment. After being bitten by a dog, you may face medical costs, emotional trauma, lost wages, and a long road to recovery.
The insurance companies may try pressuring you into accepting an unfair settlement. You may even need to go to court which could take weeks, months, or years to resolve.
You may rightfully wonder how long it will take to get money from your dog bite claim. The answer to that depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and local state laws.
For help understanding the settlement process, call Judd Shaw Injury Law to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys can help understand the settlement process and can help you seek financial compensation. Call 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online contact form for more information.
Negotiating a Settlement With Insurance Companies
Some insurance companies try to pay as little as possible on insurance claims. They may drag out the settlement process when victims do not have an attorney. The insurers may also deny valid claims or offer a quick settlement.
Dealing with insurance companies can be a hassle and you may feel overwhelmed. It can be tempting to accept the first settlement offer that comes your way when you have been waiting a while or when adjusters continue to give you a hard time.
The attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law know their ways and can fight on your behalf. It may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover any losses caused by the dog bite.
Your attorney can assist you in gathering evidence to build a solid case. This is key because the insurance company may cooperate with your attorney if there is strong evidence presented. This can speed up the settlement process.
Your attorney can also calculate a settlement that should be enough to cover your immediate losses and any expenses you may have in the future. Your damages may include rehabilitation costs and other financial hardships like medical bills.
If you are dissatisfied with the settlement the insurance company offers, your attorney can take them to court. When you settle your dog bite claim, this settlement will stipulate the details of when and how you will be compensated.
What Laws Affect Settlements for Dog Bite Claims?
Some states follow “strict liability” laws for dog bites. This means you may be able to get your settlement much quicker than if you lived in a state with a rule of “negligence.” Under strict liability, the dog’s owner is liable for damages caused by his dog biting someone, regardless of whether or not he knew the dog was dangerous.
In this case, you can usually file a claim directly with the owner’s insurance company and receive your settlement quickly. For example, in New Jersey, dog owners are automatically held responsible. You are only required to prove a bite happened.
In states with “negligence” laws, you need to prove that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous. Even if you can prove that the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s behavior, he or she may still choose to fight your claim and take it to court.
What Are the Most Common Injuries From Dog Bites?
Most people who are bitten by a dog will wind up with medical bills as a result. However, dog attack cases are never identical, and different injuries can range in severity.
The severity of the injury depends on the size, breed, and health of the dog, as well as where on the body the person was bitten. The differences in physical injuries and medical costs all affect the time it takes to get enough compensation.
The most common injuries from dog bites are:
- Puncture wounds: Puncture wounds are caused by the teeth of the dog piercing the skin. These wounds can be deep and cause damage to muscles, bones, joints, or tendons.
- Crush injuries: Crush injuries occur when a large dog bites down and crushes the victim’s flesh. This can cause internal bleeding and damage to muscles, bones, and organs.
- Emotional distress and trauma: A child may experience fear or anxiety after a dog bite. They may even suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The child may have nightmares or flashbacks of the event and may be afraid of dogs going forward. Adults also may suffer from PTSD after a dog bite.
- Lacerations: Lacerations are cuts or tears in the skin that can be caused by the teeth or nails of the dog.
After a dog bite, you should seek immediate medical attention. Remember to keep all documentation related to the incident and your medical expenses. Next, you should immediately contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of Judd Shaw Injury Law. We can help you recover damages for your pain and suffering.
Handling Medical Expenses After a Dog Bite
A dog bite victim’s medical expenses can vary greatly, depending on their individual needs. Often, the expenses do not happen all at once but gradually accumulate over time.
For example, a victim may need surgery right away, but it can take years before he or she has fully recovered. In some cases, the injury may be minor and heal after just a few months.
Depending on the type and severity of your injuries, you may need long-term medical treatment. It can be a good idea to wait until you have been assessed and given a prognosis. You may even wait until you have completed your treatment plan before you accept a settlement offer. This can help ensure that you are fully compensated for your costs.
To ensure the success of your case, you should consult a lawyer before you make a decision. Then you can negotiate a settlement that provides the money needed for your potential expenses. When you work with our personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law, we fight for your best interests.
Judd Shaw Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get the Money You Deserve
Dog bites have a wide range of consequences with a painful impact on your life. How soon you get a settlement for your damages will depend largely on the circumstances surrounding your attack. Another challenge is how long it takes to gather the necessary paperwork and evidence required for litigation.
When you hire Judd Shaw Injury Law, your lawyer will be actively involved in gathering the needed documentation to speed up the process. We can also help with negotiations. With our No Fee Guarantee®, you will not owe us a dime unless we can get you money.
As a Judd Shaw client, you can expect us to deliver personalized service guided by our five core principles – something we call “The Judd Shaw Way.” We will do our best to help you to navigate the settlement process and take control of your payouts. Call us at 1-866-909-6894 or complete the online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.