Dog Bite Settlements and Verdicts
Dog bite injuries in California can be devastating. However, by filing an insurance claim or a dog bite lawsuit, you may be able to obtain a settlement or damages award with a jury verdict.
In both settlements and verdicts, the plaintiff who was injured by a dog bite will be compensated financially for his or her losses.
California has the highest number of dog bite claims in the country, and it has held this devastating rank for quite some time, according to a State Farm study.
To learn more about seeking a settlement or verdict for your dog bite injury, you should get in touch with a California dog bite attorney about filing a lawsuit. In the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about dog bite settlement amounts and verdicts in California.
What is the Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict?
Many people who have sustained dog bite injuries hear that they may be eligible to obtain a settlement or verdict to compensate them for their hospital bills, as well as their pain and suffering. Yet many plaintiffs in dog bite cases want to know more about the distinction between a settlement and a verdict.
In short, a settlement is an amount of compensation that you can obtain with the help of your attorney by negotiating with the other side before your case reaches the jury. Settlements can occur with insurance claims as well as dog bite lawsuits. When you file an insurance claim for a dog bite injury, the insurance company may attempt to negotiate a settlement amount for your losses.
If you ultimately cannot obtain the compensation you deserve through an insurance claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Settlements also can occur in lawsuits when the defendant wants to negotiate a payout before the case goes to the jury to determine a damages award.
How Settlements Work in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Typically, once you file a dog bite lawsuit, the defendant will want to offer a settlement when there is clear evidence that will support the plaintiff’s case, and when the defendant knows that the jury is likely to award substantial damages as part of its verdict.
With the help of a California dog bite attorney, you can negotiate with the defendant at any point during the civil lawsuit process, and in some cases the defendant simply will offer a settlement before the case goes to the jury.
Depending upon the nature of your case, it can be beneficial to accept a reasonable settlement. Even if a settlement is slightly less than you would receive if your case went to the jury, a settlement can happen relatively quickly and can provide the plaintiff with compensation on the sooner side.
Indeed, some dog bite lawsuits can take many months—and sometimes even longer—before a jury returns a verdict. During that period, the plaintiff likely will be paying medical bills out of pocket and will be facing the consequences of lost wages if the dog bite injury prevents him or her from working.
When a plaintiff accepts a reasonable settlement, the case will end and the plaintiff can be compensated. In many cases, it makes sense for a plaintiff to be compensated on the sooner side as long as the settlement offer is reasonable.
Dog Bite Settlement Amounts: How Much Can I Expect to Obtain?
Plaintiffs who file dog bite lawsuits often want to know more about dog bite lawsuit settlement amounts and what typical dog bite settlements in California look like. Generally speaking, to obtain a reasonable settlement offer or a big verdict, you will need to prove the essential factual elements of the dog bite statute in California:
- Defendant owned the dog;
- Dog bit plaintiff while she was in a public place or lawfully on private property;
- Plaintiff was harmed; and
- Dog was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s harm.
Contact a California Dog Bite Lawyer
Were you recently injured in an animal attack? Was your child or another family member injured in a dog bite case? You may be eligible to file a dog bite lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation.
Dog bite injuries can be extremely severe, requiring multiple reconstructive surgeries and significant time away from work. By filing a lawsuit and seeking a reasonable settlement or verdict, you can get the compensation you deserve while holding the dog owner accountable.
An experienced California dog bite attorney can assist with your case. Contact Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law to learn more about the settlements and verdicts we have obtained for numerous personal injury clients in Southern California.