For many individuals who have sustained dog bite injuries, the act of filing the claim for damages can be the hardest part of the process. In addition to tending to your physical injuries, you may feel the system is overwhelming and that you are missing some crucial steps of the process. To get help with throughout this daunting process, you should contact our skilled team of lawyers. Our dedicated dog bite attorneys could you file a dog bite claim in Oak Lawn and keep your case on track while you are pursuing compensation.
The first step in filing a dog bite claim is to identify the liable party’s insurance company and submit a well-documented demand for a settlement. If the insurance company rejects the demand, an injured party could file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
The owner may have insurance to cover any damages that result from a dog attack, so the claim will not be brought against the individual but against the insurance company. Insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims and will do whatever it takes to minimize the amount they pay. Fortunately, a lawyer could help someone in Oak Lawn stand up against these companies and fight for fair compensation when filing a dog bite claim.
Some people are under the misconception that the owner of the dog is financially responsible for the dog bite, and they feel bad that the owner may have to pay. If they have insurance, then the insurance compensates the injured party. Although the owner of the dog is legally responsible for the bite, the financial consequences are paid by the insurance company and not by the individual themselves.
People might also be hesitant to file because they do not believe the wounds are serious. It is important to have a doctor examine any dog bite even if it does not initially appear to require treatment. If it broke the skin, it is essential that the person receive a shot of antibiotics to prevent infection, which is among the worst consequences of these kinds of injuries.
The time it takes to handle a dog bite claim varies from case to case, but one of the most important factors is the extent of the injuries. The seriousness of the injuries dictate how long the medical treatment lasts, and a person should not submit a settlement demand before reaching maximum medical improvement or having been released by their doctor. A lawyer typically does not submit a demand for settlement until the plaintiff has been discharged from all medical care because they want to be able to demand the full value of a case which can only be determined by completed medical care. Therefore, more serious injuries lead to a longer recovery period, which results in a longer case process.
Once someone is released from medical care, the next step is to order medical records, a process which may take up to 60 days. The attorney then drafts a demand for settlement and gives it to the insurance company for evaluation. If the case does not settle at the negotiation stage, a lawsuit could be filed. Most cases that settle out of court will do so within one year of the injury, but a lawsuit can between two and three years to be resolved.
Generally speaking, an injured party must file their dog bite lawsuit within two years of the date of the attack, although there are exceptions. A case must either be settled with the insurance company or a lawsuit filed within the two-year window or the individual loses all rights to recovery. An experienced lawyer could monitor a case so it meets the statute of limitations.
Going through the legal process with someone who has done it many times before could greatly reduce your stress level and increase your chance of a successful outcome. Therefore, if you are considering filing a dog bite claim in Oak Lawn, retain a local attorney who could help you through this process. For more information about how our team could help you, call today.