Last Updated: February 28, 2021

Dog Bite Settlement? How Long Does It Take To Settle A Dog Bite Case?

Dog Bite Settlement

What is Dog Bite Settlement? How Long Does It Take to Settle A Dog Bite Injury?

Dog aggression is a complex subject to discuss accurately. Although experienced, highly qualified dog trainers can predict a dog's behavior, there are times when they can't deny the dog behaviors' sudden shift. In these cases, the animal might have been experiencing behavioral issues that can harm other dogs and humans when being triggered. 

There are plenty of factors that can influence the dog's behavior, including environmental conditions that reinforce dogs to "apply" that certain behavior. Thus, when dogs attack other animals and people, it can lead to various results: from a small scratch to severe physical impairments and even psychological traumas. 

So, who is the one responsible for this kind of situation? 

Who should take accountability for the inflicted pain and damages? The simple answer to that is of course, the dog's owner. But what exactly are the consequences? That is when dog settlement conditions come in. The victim (either the owner of the harmed dog or the owner himself) has the right to file a case against the aggressive dog's owner. 

The dog's owner is the one liable for the damages and injuries caused by their pet. Generally, the idea is similar to hitting someone on the road while you're driving. Of course, you, as the driver, should be responsible for shouldering the expenses for the victim's treatment and recovery. So, in the case of a dog bite, the victim's lawyer should determine what the worth of the dog bite accident claim is. To answer that, read the explanation below. 

In a dog bite settlement, what kind of compensation can the victim get?

800,000 Americans have access to medical services for dog injuries annually. However, that number does not include those injuries such as when dogs knock them over or when they got chased by dogs and got hit by a vehicle. In other words, the compensation only depends on the applicable laws and the circumstances. But generally, dog owners are really the ones liable if their pet harmed someone. It could also mean that the dog owner's insurances might have to shoulder a percentage of the victim's treatment expenses. It includes the following:

The victim's lost income

This refers to the victim's income throughout the days they left from work to undergo treatment. 

Medical bills

This is actually the most obvious and all-present expenses that serve as a result of the injuries that your dog has inflicted to its victims. This includes medications, hospital services, physical check-ups and therapy, and all necessary medications for the victims' treatment.

Suffering and pain

This is best applicable in severe cases. For example, the victim developed PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder which was proven to be directly caused by the said accident. So, the person at fault or the owner should also shoulder the necessary expenses for the victim's psychological treatment. 

Damaged property

This refers to any of the victim's property that was affected by the incident. For example, the victim dropped his phone when the dog bit him. So, the broken phone should be included in the owner's or insurance's expenses. 

However, victims might have their compensation package reduced if and only if they also are partly at fault for what happened. Again, it only depends on their state, the circumstances, and the legal theories that can support the lawsuit.  

How to get the maximum compensation of a dog bite injury?

The question that can lead to the most accurate answer is, "What can the victim do to increase the settlement's amount? Yes, of course. In the first place, the victim has the right to know how to acquire help and assistance  by hiring an attorney and ask them to explain what to expect from this case. For example, taking photos throughout the process, from the caring of the wound, the dressing, and all other steps, will serve as detailed evidence of the healing process.  

Attorneys try to resolve a case with an insurance policy adjuster or with an insurance defense lawyer to appreciate what the victim or client has undergone throughout the process of recovery. Particularly, this will serve as evidence or basis for the jury to decide. The healing process is an essential factor in increasing the compensation because, simply put, if the victim is not taking the vital steps in treating his wounds, it might disqualify them in availing the package because they're merely "making their condition worse." 

The victim should also take their part in bettering their condition to avoid being questioned by a representative or a jury. This is the purpose of documenting all the treatment steps the victim has undergone, the detailed prescriptions of the doctors, and the journaling the treatment experience in full detail.

How Long Does It Take to Settle A Dog Bite Injury?

If the case seems extremely straightforward, your complaint can actually be solved within 1 to 3 months. But, generally speaking, the time duration will depend on the injury and damage severity. A dog bite settlement can permit you to avail compensations for your treatment expenses. 

What is the DOLA or the Dog Owner Liability Act?

Generally, Illinois dog bite law compels the owner of the dog to be strictly liable for the injuries caused by their dog. This serves as the dog owner's punishment for their negligence. Meaning, even if they did not predict the attack, or are unaware of the dog's ability to become aggressive, they are still considered as the ones at fault. 

Conclusion

When you take your dog at a nearby park for a short stroll, you have to be cautious about how it interacts with its surroundings. Be mindful of its behavior as dogs can seem all good around their owners but might come out as unpredictably violent when seeing other creatures. Although it is natural for dogs to react to environmental stimuli, as an owner, it is best to avoid unwanted results caused by their various reactions.

So, walk your dog in a tight leash and be always mindful of the cues. In that way, you wouldn't have to end up undergoing some complex processes.

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Scott DeSalvo, Injury Lawyer - 312-500-4500


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