So sorry to hear this; hopefully, mom and baby are doing well. Dog bite cases, in fact all negligence cases, are so much more difficult to prevail upon then the general public is lead to believe. A primary reason for this is the insurances industry's propoganda and concerted effort to keep lawyers out of the mix. Study after study confirms the net value of your own attorney advocate. Please consider speaking with a local and qualified attorney. All the best.
Each case is very different, particularly since you are pregnant.You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Under Ohio's statutes the dog owner is strictly liable from the facts you have given. It is too early to determine the settlement value of your case, since I would image that you are not done treating at this time. The possible settlement amount would depend on what course of treatment you are going to have. From the facts you stated I can't determine whether your stitches are in a noticible location and will require prastic surgery or other remedial care. As I don't know what medical risks are there for your unborn child. These factors as well as your pain and suffering have to be taken into account before any settlement can be discuss. You should seek an experience personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio, to help you evaluate and prepare your claim.
The answer to you first question as to the time it takes to settle a case depends on how soon you will know whether there will be permanent scarring and how amenable the insurance company will be.
The answer to our question about settlement amounts is below:
All of the attorneys are correct. It is too early to determine the extent of damages. These types of cases are often taken on a contingency basis (no cost to you).
If you would like to talk to a Columbus attorney, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.
Andrew A. Esposito
Mr. Esposito is a Ohio-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Andrew Esposito does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.
There are several possible outcomes in such a case. The homeowner's insurance company could accept liability and agree to settle your claim before trial. The insurance company could dispute liability, or, could offer you less to settle your claim than you believe it to be worth. In those instances, filing a lawsuit may be your best option in order to receive adequate compensation.
The amount that you receive from a settlement or jury verdict depends largely on your medical expenses. Your status as a pregnant woman would likely influence a settlement, but until your medical expenses are cataloged it would be too speculative to throw out a particular dollar figure.
If you'd like to speak with a local attorney who practices almost exclusively in personal injury litigation, you can contact me at 614-733-9390.
Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this answer.
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