How long will my dog bite case take to settle?

White dog biting man's armIronically, the number one question our clients ask us is the one question we can’t definitively answer—“How long will it take for my claim to be settled?” Although this question is important, it isn’t easy to answer. When it comes to personal injury claims, whether a dog bite, a car accident, or a slip and fall case, the potential duration of the claims vary from client to client. 

Continuance Factors in Dog Bite Cases

Although we can’t give you a specific time frame such as three weeks or three years, we can tell you what factors of a dog bite case will influence whether the claim will be settled quickly or be drawn out. These elements include:

  • Severity of your injuries. Depending on the extent of your injuries, an insurance company may choose to offer a settlement straight away. However, just because the offer is made, doesn’t mean you should accept. If your injuries are minor and you don’t want to drag out your claim, your attorney may advise you to consider a quick settlement. However, if your injuries are severe and extensive, your attorney should advise you to hold off on a settlement until your recovery is complete. Although the insurance company will try to settle early to avoid having to pay more for treatments, you deserve a settlement that will cover all of your expenses, not just the treatments up until the offer.
  • Treatment requirements. The more extensive your injuries, the more treatment your injuries will require. It’s important to follow your doctor’s orders and receive all of the care you need to reach your maximum recovery. However, the more treatments you need, the more expensive your recovery becomes. As your recovery expenses increase, so will the time you and your lawyer will spend on a settlement agreement with the insurance company.
  • Recovery time. As mentioned above, you shouldn't settle a case before finishing your treatment. In dog bite cases, it’s important to wait until your injuries have healed to discover the full extent of your scarring, and likewise how much compensation you deserve.
  • Settlement options. The majority of dog bite cases are settled out of court and in a timely fashion. However, if the insurance company fails to negotiate a reasonable offer, you may have no other choice than to file a lawsuit. If you’re forced to go to trial, your claim may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months before a verdict is reached.

No matter the severity of your injuries, your best option to secure an efficient and successful dog bite claim is to seek the professional guidance of an experienced dog bite attorney.

Statute of Limitations

While we’re on the subject of time, you need to know that your dog bite claim is subject to a statute of limitations. This means that you have a finite, or limited, amount of time to file a claim against the liable owners before your case becomes invalid. It’s especially important, as a Tennessean, that you know our state’s limitation laws, for they are drastically shorter than other state filing limits. When injured in the “volunteer state,” you have exactly one year from the date of the attack to file a claim.  

If you fail to file within this 365-day window, Tennessee courts will most likely refuse to hear your case. Therefore, you have no time to lose—Contact a local Tennessee attorney, John L. Griffith, today to get your claim started. The faster you begin, the quicker you’ll receive your settlement. Call 615-807-7900 now, and see how we can help you secure your future.

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