After suffering a dog bite injury, you will probably be contacted by the other side’s insurance company. The insurance company will likely tell you they would like to settle your case quickly. It may seem tempting to take the initial settlement offer, because you may feel like moving on from the incident as soon as possible.
However, this may not be in your best interest. Settling your claim soon after the dog attack may seem like a good idea, but it’s important to know these 3 things before you do:
1. You have two years to settle your claim or file a lawsuit, so you don’t need to rush into a settlement.
In Iowa, personal injury claims have a deadline of two years — this is known as the statute of limitations.
If you are not fully healed, and the two year deadline is coming up, you will need to file a lawsuit. This lawsuit stops the clock on that deadline so you can heal on your own time. It does not mean that you’ll have to go to trial to get compensation for your injuries. You only have to go to trial if you want. If you would rather settle your case, you can do so once you have healed.
2. Do not settle your claim until you’re healed, or as healed as your doctor says you will get.
Serious injuries from a dog bite claim can result in surgery, physical therapy, or both. If you are still recovering from your injuries, you should not settle your case. The reason for this lies in how settlements work. Once you sign settlement paperwork, the other side does not have to pay you any more money for your injuries. That means whatever medical bills come in after you sign the paperwork need to be paid out of your own pocket. Your settlement may quickly disappear into medical bills – bills that the other side should have paid.
3. Do not settle your claim until you’ve spoken with an experienced Iowa dog bite lawyer.
You may not need an attorney for your dog bite claim. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can give you advice about your case, including whether or not you need a lawyer. This advice is usually given during a free initial consultation – which means it costs you nothing to discuss your case with an attorney.
They can also give you a general idea of the types of compensation you could expect from a settlement. These can include:
- Payment for all medical bills related to the dog bite
- Lost wages for time off of work due to your injuries – which can include going to doctor appointments or physical therapy
- Any property that was destroyed or damaged during the attack
- Pain and suffering
- Any permanent scarring, disability, or disfigurement that you suffer as a result of the dog bite injury
If you have a serious dog attack injury, we generally do not recommend that you settle your case on your own. The other side’s insurance company may try to lowball you in their settlement offers. The best way to make sure you get a fair settlement for your claim is to hire a knowledgeable Iowa dog bite lawyer.
Would you like a free, no-obligation case evaluation from one of our experienced Iowa personal injury attorneys? Call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.