How Long Will My Dog Bite Claim Take To Settle?
Dog bite claims tend to settle out of court. In a few rare instances, they do, however, end up going to civil court. This article will discuss what to do in this instance. Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that if your dog bite case does indeed go to trial, it can settle at any time.
Receive a settlement before your lawsuit is filed
Lawyers know that your case can settle long before it even goes to trial if you, the defendant, and your personal injury lawyers in Santa Clara reach a settlement agreement early on. The following tend to apply to these types of cases:
● The injuries are minor and/or will not worsen with time
● You didn’t have any pre-existing conditions and/or injuries which the dog bite could exacerbate
● The defendant was 100% and obviously responsible for not restraining his or her dog.
● The defendant had homeowners’ insurance at the time of the incident.
You, as the plaintiff, will still have to provide the insurance adjuster and company with evidence of this in the form of:
● Written statements from eyewitnesses
● Photos of the dog being rabid or off of a leash when he or she bit you
● Medical treatment records
● Medical bills
● Estimates and/or receipts for any other bodily injuries
● Proof that the dog bite caused you to incur lost wages and/or income
Discovery and motions
The discovery period begins immediately after the lawsuit is filed. This is the period in which you and the defendant will gather important information about each other which can and will be used as valuable evidence in court and can and will influence the lawsuit’s outcome. A good example would be if you walked up to a dog on a leash and bothered it despite the defendant’s repeated warnings that the dog bites when provoked. Then you would be at least partially at fault and your final settlement would be reduced accordingly.
This phase lasts between 6-12 months after the lawsuit has been filed. You may actually be forced to file a motion of summary judgment in favor of the defendant if during the discovery period you find that there is not enough evidence to hold the defendant responsible.
Mediation and Trial
This is when you, the defendant, and your lawyers sit down and try to talk through the case. You attempt to settle out of court. It’s also called alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Most dogs bite personal injury cases (95%) never go to trial.A good personal injury lawyer can help you win a dog bite lawsuit.