Previously at spanieldogs.com, we covered if or not you can sue for a minor dog bite along with many other essential aspects that everyone must know. If you haven’t yet checked it out, you can find the above-said blog here. Now proceeding ahead, do you know how long does it take for a dog bite settlement???
If not, then you have arrived at the right place.
Table of Contents
- 1 How long does it take for a Dog Bite Settlement?
- 2 Factors affecting a Dog Bite Settlement
- 3 What should I do if a dog bites me?
- 4 How can I expedite the time required for settling a dog bite case?
- 5 Final Thoughts
How long does it take for a Dog Bite Settlement?
Usually reaching the final verdict of a Dog Bite Settlement can range between a few days to months and even years. There are a number of factors that play a major role in deciding the time which we will be covering later in this blog. So to know more keep on reading.
Factors affecting a Dog Bite Settlement
Reason of Attack
While dog attacks are no child’s play, the motive behind the dog’s sudden aggressive behaviour is a major deciding factor. Usually all pet owners ensure their pooches are properly trained or at least leashed appropriately when out in the public. So, unless the dog is spooked, threatened or provoked, a pet canine won’t indulge in harmful actions such as these.
During prosecution, such cases are often dealt with utmost sensitivity and hence if found guilty of provoking, threatening the dog or their owner in any way, the dog bite settlement may turn into a criminal case against the victim. However, if the dog is aggressive or if you were bit due to the owner’s carelessness then the settlement can proceed.
State of Injuries
The second most important thing that can severely impact a dog settlement case is the state of injuries suffered by the victim. Depending upon the severity of the wounds, blood loss and rehabilitation time, getting dog bite settlement in major bite cases can be much more complex than those of minor bites.
This is because the victim might not be in his best health when trying to sue the dog owner. Moreover a thorough medical certificate will also be required when making the dog bite case. The certificate should bear all tit-by-bit details of the victim’s injury, severity, potential health risks, total rehabilitation time, along with the signature, name and address of the doctor. Without these the case will only prolong more and more.
Presence of evidence
Just like any other case, evidence can either pacify or slow down the total time required for receiving the final settlement. Anything from a photo or video of the act can count as evidence, although it is better if the proof catches the pet and its owner’s face.
Presence of such solid proof makes it much easier for the judge or the judicial panel to reach a conclusion and impose the rightful punishment to the guilty. But in the absence of evidence, the other party can counter-sue, leading to a complicated outcome and irrelevant delay in getting any form of compensation.
The Insurance Company Involved
Most often involvement of insurance companies also leads to prolonged settlement cases. These companies work by ensuring protection to their clients (in this case pet owners and their dogs) and therefore may lengthen the whole procedure.
Moreover, if the insurance company files for a counter-law suit, then too the settlement will take a huge amount of time.
Local or Regional Laws
Finally, the laws in your area also pose an important aspect in deciding the total duration required for reaching an ultimatum in dog bite cases. Some states are more vigilant and stringent towards dog bite cases, whereas some follow the “One-bite free” rule. Thus, based upon where the accident has taken place, the victim may or may not get required settlement in time.
What should I do if a dog bites me?
Speaking through one of my childhood experiences, the first thing to do after a dog bite, no matter how small or big, is to seek immediate medical attention. Even the smallest bites can leave you at the risk of getting infected by rabies, and hence delaying is never an option.
Meanwhile don’t forget to contact the responsible authorities for optimal evidence gathering and filing of charges. In some states a special regulatory body such as Animal Control Units may be available who can be called to inspect if or not the dog is a known danger. However if such provision is not present, calling 911 or the local police can also be fruitful.
Once done with the initial investigation, if the pet and its owner is found guilty then you are free to either settle the case outside the court or sue them legally.
How can I expedite the time required for settling a dog bite case?
Here are some points that can come handy if you want the dog bite settlement case to reach a sooner result.
Present all evidence
Like I mentioned earlier, strong evidence in the form of recorded photos, video, police report, animal control report, witness statements, etc can serve a major winning part for the victim. This can induce both the judicial panel and insurance company to reach the result faster, thereby reducing the total time required for the settlement to come.
Present all necessary records
Starting from medical bills, records of lost wages to documents supporting the intensity of after-effects following a dog bite, presenting the right records is highly beneficial. This will help the insurance company to calculate and offer a considerable amount of settlement fee or reserve an agreed amount for covering the expenses that the victim might have to pay to avail certain benefits.
Offering a time limit
Even though minor dog bite cases get resolved quickly, the most issues arise with major dog bite accidents. This is due to the fact that such cases incur higher medical costs for the sufferer, which may go over the insured’s total policy limit.
Here offering a significant time limit or in legal terms a ‘Holt demand’ can prevent further complications between the parties involved. This is usually forwarded by the victim’s attorney after a thorough discussion. And while this may seem worthless initially, it sure does save you from the pains of repeated court trials and what not.
Getting a good attorney
The last step in reaching the conclusive stage of a dog bite settlement case fast is to hire an experienced attorney. The professional should be experienced and knowledgeable in dealing with such precarious situations and also must have handled similar cases previously.
An inexperienced attorney may not know the right steps or miss out on some, causing further hindrance in the compensation finalisation.
Dog bites are hands down one of the scariest and traumatising episodes a person can ever face in their life. The sufferer might not only be left with physical scars but emotional and psychological as well, and hence proper dealing of these cases is a must. It is also better to keep yourself updated in things like these as you never know when and where the knowledge can come handy.
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