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Naples Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury Lawyer > How Long Does a Dog Bite Lawsuit Take in Naples, FL?

How Long Does a Dog Bite Lawsuit Take in Naples, FL?

Dog bite lawsuit take

Dog bites and attacks can lead to life-altering injuries. Sometimes, the dog owner’s insurance covers all expenses; more often, dog bite victims must seek compensation through a lawsuit.

If you’re a victim of a Naples dog bite, you may wonder: “How long does a dog bite lawsuit take?”

Below, a Florida dog bite attorney explains when you can expect your case to settle.

How Long Will It Take To Settle Your Claim?

Typically, dog big cases take about a year to settle. Of course, all cases are different, so yours could settle in less or more time than that.

There are a few factors that affect the settlement timeline, which our personal injury lawyers will explore in more detail next.

How Soon You Hired a Lawyer

Did you call an attorney immediately after suffering a dog bite in Naples, or did you wait for a few weeks (or longer)? The answer can affect how long it takes your case to settle.

Contacting an attorney as soon as possible can help streamline your case. Your attorney will have an easier time collecting evidence to support your claim while the proof is still fresh.

If you wait weeks or months to call an attorney, your animal bite case might take a bit longer to settle. For individuals worried about the expense of hiring an attorney, access to legal information can be gained via initiatives like the CCCBA’s partnership with JusticeDirect. This service can be particularly helpful for Californians looking to bring cases before state small claims courts where legal representation is not permitted.

Whether You Know Who Owns the Dog

Sometimes, it’s obvious who owns the dog that bit you. They’re standing nearby holding a broken leash or reprimanding their dog. 

Other times, you might have no idea who the dog belongs to. If it’s roaming freely with no owner in sight, it can take quite some time to determine where the animal lives.

Naples authorities can capture the dog and scan it for a microchip. If it has one, the scan will reveal the owner’s contact information. If it’s microchip-free, authorities might have to knock on doors in the area where the dog bit you. It can take weeks or months to track down the animal’s owner.

Whether the Dog Owner Has Insurance

If the dog owner has homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, their policy may cover dog bites that happen on their property. This is good news for you. Dog bite attorneys can help you file a claim with insurance instead of taking the dog owner to court, hopefully avoiding legal action altogether. 

How Serious Your Injuries Are

Your dog bite attorney might want to wait until you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) before assessing your damages. If your injuries are serious, your damages might be far greater than first thought.

For instance, say that you’ve suffered a broken leg because of a dog attack. Months later, the leg still hasn’t healed correctly, and your doctor says that you need surgery. That surgery can tack thousands onto your medical bills, potentially resulting in a larger settlement.

Your doctor will tell you once you’ve reached MMI, so you don’t have to figure this out on your own.

How Do Naples Attorneys Settle a Dog Bite Claim?

Now that you know the answer to the question, “How long does a dog bite lawsuit take to settle?”, you might wonder what’s involved in settling your Naples accident case.

To settle a dog bite claim, your lawyer will first calculate all of your damages. They might include:

  • Bills for medical treatment, follow-up care, physical therapy, and medication
  • Lost wages because you can’t work due to the bite
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Next, your attorney will present the value of your damages to the dog owner’s insurance company. Rarely will the insurance company pay what you’re asking for. More likely, it will offer a lower settlement based on what it thinks your damages are really worth.

You can accept the settlement offer or negotiate for more. Negotiations go back and forth until you’re happy with the offer. If necessary, you and your attorney will take legal action to seek a higher payout. 

Need Help Reaching a Settlement? Call Our Naples Law Firm

Still wondering, “How long does a dog bite lawsuit take?” Want to learn more about the dog bite process? Reach out to The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. at 239-500-5000 or contact us online. Lead attorney Marc L. Shapiro, P.A. has more than 30 years of experience assisting dog bite victims in Naples.

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