Tips on Making a Dog Bite Settlement Demand

Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. In addition to the physical pain and trauma, you may also face medical bills and other expenses. Dog bite victims often suffer from a wide range of injuries, including puncture wounds, torn ligaments, post-traumatic stress disorder, disfigurement, or, in worst cases, wrongful death. If a dog has bitten you, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action against the dog owner and their homeowner’s insurance policy, often leading to a dog bite settlement. One of the first steps in this process is making a dog bite settlement demand.

Dog Bite Settlement Demand – Important Tips

Seek Medical Attention

If a dog has bitten you, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately – if the bite is minor, you should visit urgent care or a similar facility; if you suffer more serious injury, you should visit the emergency room for treatment. Even if the bite seems minor, it can still become infected. Seeking medical attention will also create a record of your injuries, which can become evidence in your settlement demand.

Document the incident

If possible, take pictures of the injuries and the location where the attack occurred. Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the incident. This documentation can be helpful in establishing liability and the severity of the injuries.

Gather information about the dog

Obtain the owner’s name and contact information and any information about the dog’s breed and vaccination history. This information can be helpful in establishing liability and determining the potential for future attacks. It is also critically important to establish the rabies vaccination status of the dog – if the dog does not have an up-to-date rabies vaccination, you may require preventative treatment.

File a Bite Report

Filing a bite report with animal control or a police report is essential following a dog attack. This report helps to create a record of the bite incident, can highlight a pattern of aggressive behavior of the dog (see our previous article on the one-bite rule), and is an integral part of the dog bite injury claim.

Tips on Making a Dog Bite Settlement Demand

Consult with a personal injury lawyer specializing in dog bite cases and dog bite law. They can perform a case review, advise you on your legal options, and help you navigate this complex area of personal injury law. An experienced dog bite attorney can help you get fair compensation for your case.

The Dog Bite Settlement Demand

Once you work with a lawyer, they will want to create a settlement demand for you. This process begins with calculating the damages you have suffered from the dog bite, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future medical expenses or lost income. These damages will form the basis of your settlement demand.

Your attorney will then draft a settlement demand that includes a detailed description of the incident, your injuries, and the damages you have suffered, along with all documentation that supports your claim. This demand is then sent to the dog’s owner and/or their insurance company.

Generally, once the settlement demand is submitted, it will become necessary to negotiate a final settlement value with the owner of the dog or their insurance adjuster. This settlement should take into account the costs of your medical expenses, the severity of the dog bite injury, the need for future medical treatment and expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The owner of the dog or their insurance company may make a counteroffer to your settlement demand. Be prepared to negotiate to reach a settlement offer that is fair to you. If a settlement is not reached, your attorney should be prepared to file a lawsuit against the dog owner or their insurance company.

Contact a Dog Bite Attorney

If a dog has bitten you, it is important to seek medical attention, document the incident, gather information about the dog, calculate damages, and consult a qualified law firm. The team at Dross Berman has extensive experience in personal injury claims, dog bite claims, and dog bite lawsuits. Contact us today for a free consultation.