Petersen Johnson

What to Expect From a Dog Bite Settlement

If you’ve recently been the victim of a dog bite, you may be looking for a dog bite attorney. But what can you expect from a dog bite lawsuit and settlement?

Find an Attorney

The first step in any dog bite lawsuit is finding an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your case. Dog bite law is a combination of city, county and state law, so you’ll need help navigating this territory and understanding your rights. It’s important to find an attorney who has plenty of experience with dog bite cases and has had success winning cases similar to yours.

Evidence Gathering

Once you’ve retained a good personal injury attorney, the next step will be to gather evidence for your case. This could include your personal account of what happened as well as eyewitness accounts, any medical treatment records, photos of your injury, photos of the scene, photos of the dog, the dog’s history and vaccination records, you’re medical bills, and any other pertinent information. The attorney will need your help gathering all of this information.

Litigating Your Case

Most dog bite lawsuits never get to court. They are usually settled through negotiations between the victim and the dog owner. Typically an attorney will start with a letter to the dog owner stating your intent to file a lawsuit, the evidence you have, your medical bills and your request for financial restitution. If the owner agrees to pay your requested amount, you’re finished. If the owner refuses, the matter will have to be taken to court.

General Settlement Amounts

Dog bite lawsuit settlements can vary greatly and there are no minimum or maximum compensation laws. The settlement amount isn’t always a direct reflection of the amount of medical costs incurred. There are many things that go into the settlement calculation, including loss of work, long-term medical issues, mental anguish and other variables.