How Long Does It Take For A Dog Bite Settlement?
It is difficult to predict how long it will take for a dog bite claim to be resolved. In some circumstances, the claim may be settled in two or three months, while in others, it may take several months or even years. Numerous circumstances can cause a dog bite claim to take longer than typical to resolve. The laws of each state, the insurance company, whether the case has to go to court or not, the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim, and the recovery time are some of these factors.
New York, for example, is classified as a “mixed” state because it does not employ strict liability or the one bite rule, but a combination of the two of them. In the state of New York, dog owners are strictly accountable for the victim’s medical and veterinary expenditures as a result of the dog attack. If the injured person decides to seek compensation for other losses, such as lost wages and pain and suffering, they must demonstrate that the dog owner was negligent and failed to take reasonable precautions to alert people about the dog’s potentially hazardous nature or to protect others from damage.
What Factors Influence My Dog Bite Settlement Time Frame?
Some elements will affect the duration of your dog bite settlement. Here are some of the most relevant ones:
- Severity of your injuries: The severity of the dog bite victim’s injuries has a direct impact on the expense of medical costs. Serious injuries result in high medical bills. Remember that medical bills are one of the most significant economic losses for which people seek compensation. It is critical to guarantee that you are fairly compensated for your medical expenses. When your medical expenses are large, you or your attorney will need to negotiate with the insurance company and present documentation to support your claim, which will all take time.
- Treatment requirements: After a dog bite incident, many people will need treatment to overcome their physical and mental injuries. Some people will need post-operative care, physical therapy, and psychological therapy.
- Recovery time: To accurately assess the amount of money required to pay all current and future medical bills, the patient’s progress must be evaluated. In some circumstances, progress may be slow, and it may be necessary to wait as long as possible before precisely calculating compensation for medical expenses. Otherwise, you risk obtaining less money than you need to cover your medical expenses.
- Insurance company: Insurance companies are businesses that exist to make money. As a result, they will attempt to pay the dog bite victim as little as possible. Nonetheless, some businesses can be more cooperative than others. Some will want a lot of information and evidence to support your claim, while others will offer settlements well below what is fair and the negotiation process may take longer, and yet others will just take a long time to process claims.
What Should I Do Right After a Dog Bite?
If you are bitten by a dog, it is important to follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention: The most crucial thing to consider immediately following an accident is your health. As quickly as possible, call an ambulance and seek medical attention. Some injuries can be fatal if you do not seek medical attention right away.
- Contact the authorities: You need to contact the authorities right after the incident. This will not only alert the police about the attack but then you can also get a police report from them that will serve as evidence for your dog bite claim.
- Gather the dog’s owner information: Once you have made sure that your physical integrity is not at risk, you need to get as much information about the dog and its owner as possible. Try to get their contact information, the name of the dog and the information of their insurance company if they have.
- Collect evidence: Take as many photos and videos of your injuries and the place where the attack took place. Keep copies of your medical records, test results and everything related to the medical attention you received. Do not get rid of the clothes you were wearing when the dog bit you. Those clothes can also be used as evidence.
- Talk to witnesses: If someone saw the attack, you can ask them for their contact information. That way they can provide a statement in the future.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: Seeking professional legal advice is crucial. An experienced attorney can help you improve your chances of getting fair compensation for your losses.
Personal Injury Claim After a Dog Bite
Sometimes, insurance companies do not make an offer that satisfies the dog bite victim. When this happens, the injured person can initiate a personal injury lawsuit to pursue fair compensation. If the case goes to court, a jury will decide whether the plaintiff is right or not. However, filing a personal injury lawsuit may have a few downsides. The most important being that the case can take much longer to be resolved. It is common that after the lawsuit is filed, the insurance company makes a new offer to try to avoid going to court. This way you and your attorney can restart the negotiations with them and possibly settle the case without going to trial.
Dog Bite Liability Claims
Homeowners Dog Bite Liability Vs. Renters Dog Bite Liability
If you are bitten by a dog belonging to a homeowner, they may have homeowners insurance. If this is the case, you will probably be able to recover compensation from the insurance company by filing a claim. However, if you are attacked by a dog belonging to a renter, likely, they do not have renters insurance. If the dog’s owner lacks insurance, you may have to file a personal injury claim to be compensated for your losses.
Types of Damages a Dog Bite Injury Victim Can Claim
After a dog bite incident, you can recover two types of damages, economic and noneconomic damages.
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Punitive damages (rarely awarded)
Are Dog Bite Injuries Settlement Taxable in New York?
No, dog bite settlements are not taxable in New York. This means that when filing taxes, the IRS permits settlements from dog bite claims to be deducted from gross income.
New York Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
Dog bites can cause painful and costly injuries. You do not have to bear the financial burden that comes with them. Furthermore, you can also be compensated for the pain and suffering that you experienced or are currently experiencing. If you wish to pursue compensation for your injuries you need to contact an experienced dog bite attorney. The attorneys at Greenberg & Stein P.C., can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys will help you throughout the entire claim process and even represent you in court, if necessary. Contact us right now at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.