When you’ve been bitten by a dog, the complications may seem endless. One question many of our clients wonder is, “How long does a dog bite insurance claims settlement take?”
Depending on the extent of the injuries, a dog bite insurance claims settlement usually takes 3 to 6 months for the claim to be processed and settled. In cases where our clients’ injuries are ongoing and are permanent in nature, those claims will take longer to resolve.
When you have been injured as a result of a dog bite, it is essential that you file a claim with the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policies. These usually encompass dog bite liability claims. For any claims that are in excess of the policy limits, the dog owner is personally liable for all damages above the policy limits amount.
It is critical that you immediately obtain the medical care and treatment that you need. We recommend that our clients immediately go to the emergency room or to their nearest urgent care center to obtain immediate treatment. It is important that you thoroughly provide your treating doctor with a summary of all of your injuries. Be descriptive about the extent of your injuries. Take photographs and provide your treating physician with photographs that show the full extent of all of your injuries. Use descriptive words to describe what the injuries feel like. For example, “I have neck pain,” will not suffice. Be more specific, such as telling your doctor that you have an aching, piercing pain in your neck. Tell your doctor about the intensity of the pain. What is the duration and intensity? Is it intermittent or constant in nature?
It is also important that you describe all of these injuries to your adjuster that is assigned by the insurance company. You must lay out for the adjuster all of these details relating to your injuries, limitations, and restrictions.
After you have opened up a claim and provided your insurance adjuster with a thorough summary of all of your injuries, limitations, and restrictions, you must request all of your records and bills and forward all of this documentation to your adjuster upon receipt.
It is extremely important that you keep all records and document everything. You need to write out a summary of the dog bite incident and how it happened, the name and owner of the dog, and the dog owner’s address information. Also, document the names of all eyewitnesses that saw what happened including their addresses, phone numbers, and a summary of everything that they saw. Finally, it is essential that you document all of the unsafe things that the owner of the dog did including not having the dog on a leash or allowing the dog to roam around unsupervised.
There is a strict time limit in which you must file a lawsuit in your negligence claim against the dog owner. In Ohio there is a 2 year statute of limitations on all negligence claims. You must file your lawsuit within 2 years from the date of your dog bite incident.
In addition to reporting the claim and getting the medical care and treatment that you need, it is important that you report the incident to your local police department and animal control center. You must ask the officer or animal control investigator to obtain all of the dog owner’s available insurance to ensure that all of your losses are covered. The owner of the dog should be prosecuted to the fullest for all injuries you sustained.
While you are being treated for your injuries it is important that you continuously update your adjuster on your injuries, limitations, and restrictions. Keep a diary that details all of your ongoing injuries, limitations, and restrictions. Be as detailed as possible and please continue to ensure that you keep all of your treating physicians and insurance adjusters apprised by giving them a thorough history of all of your losses since the dog bite incident.
Questions About a Dog Bite Insurance Claims Settlement?
Still wondering about a dog bite case? The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC is just a phone call away to answer your questions.