Being bitten by a dog can be terrifying. Not only are you dealing with physical wounds, but medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma can pile on fast. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Texas, you’re probably wondering: when will I see some compensation?

This blog will break down the key factors affecting how long it takes to settle a dog bite case in Texas. By understanding the process, you can take steps to move your case forward as efficiently as possible.

Factors Affecting Settlement Timeline

While you might be eager to resolve your case quickly, several factors can influence how long it takes to reach a settlement in a Texas dog bite case. Understanding these roadblocks can help you manage expectations and expedite the process. Let’s delve into the key elements that can impact your settlement timeline.

Injury Severity

Was the bite minor, or did it require surgery? More severe injuries often take longer because doctors need to determine the full extent of recovery, which impacts the settlement value.

Liability is Key

Texas law is on your side. Here, dog owners are generally liable for bites, even if their pooch hasn’t shown aggression before. However, proving the owner neglected safety precautions (like keeping the dog leashed) can strengthen your case and speed things up.

Building Your Case

A strong case relies on solid evidence – medical records, witness statements, photos of the dog, and your injuries. Gathering everything takes time, but a thorough investigation is crucial.

Negotiation Process

The negotiation process begins once your case is presented to the insurance company. This back-and-forth can be lengthy, especially if the adjuster disagrees about your injuries or denies responsibility.

Courtroom Showdown 

If negotiations stall, filing a lawsuit might be necessary. The court process can take months or even years, significantly extending your wait for compensation.

Taking Control of Your Recovery: Steps to Follow After a Dog Bite in Texas

While the legal system works to secure compensation for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages can quickly create financial burdens. Here are some proactive steps you can take to empower your path to recovery  and ensure a smoother journey toward getting the compensation you deserve:

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention 

This is the most crucial step. Regardless of the bite’s severity, get a thorough evaluation by a doctor or urgent care facility. Even minor punctures can lead to infections. The doctor will document the injury, including its location, type, and any initial treatment provided. These medical records become vital evidence in your case, establishing the extent of your injuries from the very beginning.

2. Gather Evidence 

Medical records are a vital piece of the puzzle, but collecting additional details can significantly strengthen your case. If possible, take pictures of the dog, your injuries (including timestamps), and the scene of the bite.  These visuals can help document the severity of the bite and the surrounding conditions.  Try to identify any witnesses to the incident and obtain their contact information. Their statements can provide valuable insights into what happened.

3. Report the Bite 

File an official report with animal control. This documents the incident and records the dog’s bite history, which can help prove liability. The report may also include details about the dog’s vaccination status, which can be vital if you require rabies prophylaxis (a series of shots to prevent rabies).

4. Consult with an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney 

Navigating the legal complexities of dog bite claims can be overwhelming. An attorney experienced in handling these cases can be your strongest advocate throughout the process:

  • Understanding Your Rights: They can advise you of your rights under Texas law, ensuring you understand the legal landscape and potential avenues for compensation. This empowers you to make informed decisions about your case. 
  • In-Depth Investigation: Their skill and experience go beyond the initial information you gather. They’ll investigate the details of the incident, potentially uncovering additional witnesses, dog ownership records, or other relevant details that strengthen your case.
  • Gathering Comprehensive Evidence: In addition to what you collect yourself, the attorney can work with professionals to obtain police reports, dog ownership records, or other forms of evidence that solidify your claim.
  • Streamlined Communication: They’ll handle communication with the insurance company, taking the burden of negotiation off your shoulders and ensuring clear, professional communication throughout the process. This allows you to focus on healing without the stress of back-and-forth conversations.
  • Fighting for Fair Compensation: Leveraging their experience and knowledge of Texas dog bite laws, they’ll negotiate for a fair settlement that reflects the full extent of your injuries and losses.

When choosing an attorney, focus on their experience with dog bite cases and their history of successful settlements. Their knowledge can enhance your case’s outcome and speed up the process, helping you focus on recovery.

McKinnon Law Can Help

Dog bites are just one example of how negligence can cause harm. At McKinnon Law, PLLC, we’re dedicated to helping Texans recover compensation across a wide range of personal injury cases.  

Our attorney has extensive experience in various injury cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, oilfield accidents, workplace injuries, and premises liability claims. We’ll fight tirelessly to hold liable parties accountable and get you the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

No matter the cause of your injury, McKinnon Law is here to help. Contact us today for a case evaluation. We’ll answer your questions and guide you through the legal process every step of the way.