According to California dog bite law, a dog owner is liable for the damages and injuries caused by their dog. Dog owner or his insurance company has to contact the victim for settlement and offer an amount as compensation. In most cases, victims might not accept the initial settlement amount and can go for negotiations. If you’re a dog bite victim, you may be confused about when you should accept a dog bite settlement and when you should go to court. Below is a discussion on the pros and cons of accepting the settlement amount versus going to trial.
Types of Dog Bite Settlement Compensation
When you are injured by a dog, you have the right for compensation including:
- Initial and future medical bills for treatments related to your dog bite injuries.
- Repair or replacement of any property such as clothing, eyeglasses, etc. which was damaged during the attack.
- Lost wages resulted from the victim’s inability to do work.
- Long term medical bills associated with the treatment of severe injuries.
- Pain and sufferings which affect the physical as well as mental health of the victim.
- Any other costs incurred as a result of the dog bite injuries.
Evaluating Dog Bite Settlement Offers
An experienced dog bite attorney can help you to review the settlement offer proposed by the dog owner or the insurance company. They can evaluate the amount and determine whether it is necessary to meet your loss or not. You can either accept the settlement offer or take the case to court.
Accepting the Settlement Offer
A quick settlement of the case, immediate availability of money to pay medical expenses, Lower attorney fees, etc. are ensured.
Quick settlement of case may result in lower compensations and accepting the offer may be emotionally unsatisfying than winning the case in the court.
Going to Trial
You may receive larger settlement amounts in the court when compared to accepting the offer. Winning the case in the court will give more emotional satisfaction.
There is no guarantee that you will win in the court. Going to trial may take years to resolve and can result in higher legal expenses.
In the end, it is your decision to either accept the offer or take the case to the court. For both instances, there are pros and cons, so always go for some legal advice before making the decision.