Dog bites can be nasty for most people. In many cases, a dog attack can leave considerable injuries on the victim and cause them psychological trauma. Fortunately, dog bite victims can seek financial compensation for these damages, especially if the victim involves a child.
A dog bite case can be settled inside or outside of court. Usually, it's possible to settle these claims without having to go through extensive legal processes.
Unfortunately, not every dog bite claim is straightforward. First, the victim must file a claim with the dog owner's insurance company.
If the insurance company refuses to give the victim the money they're asking for, they must negotiate until they reach an agreement, which can be overwhelming for both parties.
There are a few tips to negotiate dog bite claims that could make the process easier. Recovering from dog attacks is already a tiring process, so adding legal paperwork will only add more stress to the victim.
Here's everything people can do to ensure they get justice for what happened.
How Does the Dog Bite Law Work in Tennessee?
Tennessee's dog bite law is mentioned in the TN Statutes (Section 44-8-413). There are two main scenarios where the dog owner is liable for any injuries that happen to someone else:
The animal is running at large.
The animal wasn't kept under reasonable control.
It's important to note that Tennessee is one of the few states that don't always work with the strict liability rule. Unless one of the two scenarios mentioned above plays out, the owner won't be "strictly" responsible.
As for the "one bite rule" in Tennessee, it mentions that the dog owner won't be liable for the injuries caused if the victim can't prove they knew or should have known about the animal's aggressive tendencies.
If there wasn't any previous incident, the state will likely give the owner "one free bite."
Not all dog bite cases are the same, so it's crucial to talk to a legal expert to evaluate all options. The circumstances surrounding the incident and the dog bite injuries can help determine how much the victim is entitled to in compensation.
Depending on the severity of the dog bite incident, the victim could recover the following compensation:
Loss of earning capacity
Loss of consortium
Loss of enjoyment of life
Pain and suffering
How to Negotiate Dog Bite Settlements | An Overview
Understanding dog bite laws in Tennessee is only the first step toward securing a better settlement.
Here are a few tips victims can take to increase their chances of getting a higher dog bite settlement amount:
Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Report the injuries.
Gather the owner's contact information.
Collect as much evidence as possible.
Don't talk to the insurance company without consulting a lawyer first.
Don't admit fault.
Trying to negotiate without a legal counselor present could be a recipe for disaster.
Most insurance companies will use psychological tactics to make the victim admit fault, at least to some degree. Even the slightest mistake can lead the victim to lose a lot of money on their settlement.
It's crucial to prioritize the victim's health right away. Once there's no danger, they can move on to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and get as much evidence as possible to the lawyer so that they can start building the case.
Why Should People Try to Negotiate a Dog Bite Settlement?
In essence, it will make the dog bite claim process much easier for everyone.
Taking a case to court will put stress on everyone's shoulders, not to mention that it could take a while to end.
If the victim has severe injuries to treat, waiting until the case gets settled in court isn't convenient. Negotiating with the other party, however, may ensure everyone gets to move on with their lives sooner rather than later.
Which Factors Affect the Settlement Value of Dog Bite Cases?
Many factors can influence how much someone gets from their dog bite case. Talking to a professional Nashville dog bite attorney is the most practical way to assess the situation.
Here's a list of common factors that could affect the victim's settlement in Tennessee:
- Severity of the Injury
- Insurance Coverage
- Degree of Liability
- Financial Losses
How Much Can People Expect from a Dog Bite Lawsuit Settlement?
It depends on the case. A settlement can range from $15,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Of course, the more severe the injuries are, the more likely the victim will be to recover more money.
There's no straightforward method to calculate settlement amounts. The best shot victims have is to contact a lawyer to help them with the process.
Is Hiring an Attorney Necessary?
In most cases, it's more convenient to hire a lawyer to negotiate on the victim's behalf. This is because the dog owner may not cooperate at first. They can also help with situations like what happens if your dog bites someone at PetSmart?
Even if they do, the amount of compensation they may offer may not be enough to cover most of the victim's treatment.
By hiring a lawyer, the victim will have a better chance of negotiating with the dog's owner and their insurance company. They can also advise on what to do if you get bit by a dog at work.
They will help by gathering evidence, talking to potential witnesses, and building a solid case.
Dog owners have a legal right to keep their pets in check. However, it's sometimes hard to predict when they will attack someone else, especially if they don't have aggressive tendencies.
Any dog bite victim is encouraged to seek financial help immediately. Not only will this help them deal with the dog bite injury faster, but it will also ensure they get money to cover other expenses like lost wages.
In any case, the best way to address dog bite settlements is to hire an attorney. A dog bite lawyer can evaluate all details of the claim and come up with the best strategy to ensure maximum compensation.
The team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is committed to giving their clients the support they need while recovering. Whether they need compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, or anything else, these legal experts will go to war for their clients.