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A dog bite is a scary and all-too-common occurrence. Luckily, in south Florida, the bite statute is clear and strict, favoring victims of animal attacks. A Florida dog bite lawyer will know the rules to help you win your case.
It is the duty of pet owners to secure their animals in a safe manner, so they are not a threat to others. Failure to do so, including negligence and intentional acts, almost always puts the blame on the pet owner.
In the case of dog bites or animal attacks, the odds are good that there are recoverable damages you can receive. Personal injury lawyers can help you understand what your case is worth and support you through the legal process.
Have You Suffered Injuries Due To An Animal Attack?
If you or someone you know has suffered a dog bite or animal attack, don’t delay. Medical care is often the first step, followed by contacting an attorney. You should also be sure to document the incident by retaining medical records, police reports, and eyewitness accounts, and write your statement while the event is fresh in your mind. This evidence can be critical for proving your case.
If you have suffered an animal bite attack, legal representation can be important for your personal injury claims. Our law office in Florida can help with receiving compensation for pain and suffering in addition to monetary damages for medical costs from the owner accountable.
While you may be able to prove the dog bite on your own, personal injury lawyers know the rules for how much monetary compensation you can recover. Don’t leave money on the table in the event of a dog bite injury.
Florida Dog Bite Laws
Luckily, Florida’s bite policy is strict, expecting that any reasonable dog owner, especially of dangerous breeds, has a duty to prevent their pet from causing harm or property damage to others.
What’s the Time Limit on Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Florida?
A dog bite would fall into the personal injury law category, which has a statute of limitations of four years in Florida. That means you need to initiate your case within four years, though in the case of a dog bite, it is preferable to act earlier rather than later.
Who Can Be Held Liable For A Dog Bite?
In Florida, as in most states, pet owners are solely responsible for any injuries caused by the animal, whether or not the owner had any prior knowledge of the animal’s dangerous tendencies (see section 767.01). Unless the victim provoked the attack or was trespassing, the canine owner is generally found guilty of negligence.
Factors That Affect Liability
There is not much gray area when it comes to dog bites in Florida. The owner is responsible for ensuring that their dog is properly handled and secured in most cases. One caveat is the location of the incident.
If a dog bite occurs in a public place or private property where the victim was permitted to be, the owner is almost certainly at-fault. This even includes the owner’s property, given that the victim had a right to be there.
Complications arising from dog bite injuries
Dog bites can cause severe injuries, nerve damage requiring physical therapy, and emotional distress. Permanent damage can result from common injuries, and reconstructive surgery may be considered reasonable care.
The risk of infection is also a concern. Common infections include staphylococcus, streptococcus, and even rabies, which can lead to brain damage and even bite deaths. Staph and strep infections can also be dangerous if untreated. Attack victims should seek immediate medical attention for a dog bite, especially if there are open bite wounds, a deep laceration, or the dog showed unusually aggressive behavior.
How Do I File A Dog Bite Claim?
A dog bite claim is similar to any personal injury claim. You should retain all medical records pertaining to the incident and seek out bite injury attorneys to assist with your personal injury lawsuit.
Reporting the Incident
Animal bites in Florida should be reported to the local county health department. It is recommended that you receive medical attention from your primary physician or emergency room. You may also need to call local authorities for ambulance care or if the dog is still a danger to people in the area. Animal control may be dispatched to confine it safely.
Gathering Evidence And Documentation
In addition to reporting the incident, be sure to document as much as possible. The following can be helpful for receiving compensation for injuries:
- Medical records
- Photographs of the injury
- Written statements (from you and witnesses)
- A police report or other reports
- Information about the dog
Recording physical injuries, such as teeth marks, as soon as possible after the incident is ideal. This way, you can show the bite wounds’ severity at the time, not after treatment and healing.
Contacting A Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or someone you know was the victim of a dog bite that resulted in the need for medical care, you should contact a lawyer for a consultation about recoverable damages.
Bad dog owners put innocent victims in danger and should be held to the doctrine of negligence in the state of Florida. You can contact Denmon Pearlman to talk to a bite claim attorney at our offices located in:
- St. Petersburg
- New Port Richey
Call Denmon Pearlman today for a free case evaluation.
Damages Awarded For Dog Bite Injury Claims
The cost per claim is affected by several factors. Economic, non-economic, and even punitive damages can all be a part of the claims of compensation.
Common damages for a dog bite case include:
- Medical costs
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
While our bite injury legal team can give you a more comprehensive overview, you can use our pain and suffering calculator for an idea of the non-economic damages you may be owed.
How A Florida Dog Bite Lawyer Will Prove Your Case
A dog bite lawyer in Florida will use a number of tactics to satisfy the burden of proof when it comes to your case. Any supporting documentation you can provide will help with the case, such as medical records, photographs, and police reports.
Pet attack lawyers will use that evidence to strengthen their legal arguments and justify any claims for compensation on your behalf. Doctrines of negligence in the case of dog bites tend to be pretty straightforward, though there are a few common defenses pet owners may use, such as comparative negligence laws.
Some examples of possible defense tactics include:
- Painting attack victims as negligent
- Accusing the victim of trespassing or other illegal behavior
- Claiming the victim provoked the bite
Your attorney will be prepared to counter these defense strategies to get you the monetary compensation you are owed.
How Our Florida Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help
If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog bite in the state of Florida, Denmon Pearlman can help. We also have personal injury attorneys in the greater Tampa area that specialize in dog bites.
Bite victims often need to deal with insurance companies, emotional trauma, and financial losses as a result of a bite incident. Our bite lawyer team can help you understand your legal rights when it comes to bite lawsuits and the strict liability laws regarding animal bites in Florida.
We will help you file claims against owners responsible for pet attacks and collect the monetary compensation you deserve. Denmon Pearlman offers free consultations to give you an idea of the likely outcome of your case. We’ll walk you through the legal nuances and develop a strategy to get you the best results.
How much can you sue for a dog bite in Florida?
Amounts vary based on a number of factors, including:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
More severe dog bites can settle for tens of thousands in some cases.
Can I get compensation for being bitten by a dog?
Absolutely. Florida has strict laws regarding dog bites. A bite injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you make a claim for damages.
What happens if your dog bites someone in Florida?
If your dog bites someone in the state of Florida, causing injury, there is strict liability, and accident victims will likely pursue a bite settlement. Legal defenses can assist with comparative negligence, but pet owners are usually responsible for monetary compensation.
Who is responsible for a dog bite in Florida?
The owner is almost always responsible in the event of a dog bite in Florida. If you have been injured by a dog bite, contact a Florida dog bite lawyer for a consultation.
We have your back. Whatever you might be suffering from, accidents, injuries or medical malpractice, we have you covered throughout Florida
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St. Petersburg, FL 33701
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