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Dog bites are one of the major causes of personal injury in America. Statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that over 4 million people sustain dog bite injuries every year. About 20% of these dog-bite victims end up seeking professional medical help due to the severity of their injuries. Of these, 20%, over 40% are sent to the emergency room for intensive care.
There are legal measures that you can pursue if you or your loved one have been the victim of a dog attack. Many law firms have specialized dog bite injury attorneys that are experienced in handling such cases. A dog bite lawyer can help you get appropriate compensation for your dog bite injury.
What Causes a Dog Attack?
All dogs can bite. However, certain breeds like Pitbulls have a higher propensity of attacking people. Dogs can bite if threatened or stressed. They can also bite due to their natural protective instinct, either in self-defense or in their owner’s defense.
What Merits a Dog Bite Injury Claim?
For a dog owner to be held responsible for your dog bite injury, they have to be liable. This means that the dog must have attacked you at a place where you were legally allowed to be and with no provocation from your end. A dog owner can be held liable through the following arguments;
- Strict liability; Under strict liability, the owner of the dog is held responsible for a victim’s dog bite injury whether the owner had a way of preventing the attack from happening or not.
- Negligence; Someone can be held liable for a dog attack if they acted in negligence by not taking any preventive measures.
- Negligence per se; Here, a dog bite occurs because the owner acts negligently by contravening local laws and regulations that would have prevented a dog bite.
All these arguments only hold if the dog bite victim has not contributed to the attack. In cases where a victim is guilty of trespassing on private property or provoking the dog, the compensation claim is either turned down or adjusted downwards. This is done to factor in the victim’s responsibility in the attack.
What Are the Harmful Effects of a Dog Attack?
When a dog attacks you, you can get hurt in several ways. The severity of the dog attack varies depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. This includes the trigger of the attack, the nature of the animal itself, and other factors such as the pound-force by square inch of the dog which measures how strong a dog’s bite is. The following are some of the harmful effects of a dog bite;
- Bruises, bite marks, and scratches
- Deep cuts and bleeding
- Tearing of the skin
- Exposure to bacterial infections
- Permanent scarring
- Nerve damage
What Measures Are There to Contain a Vicious Dog?
Once a victim files a complaint due to a dog bite injury, the dog’s past behavior is examined. If the dog is found to be repeatedly hostile having injured other people, it is considered vicious. The following measures can then be taken;
What Damages Can a Dog Bite Victim Seek Compensation For?
If you are a dog attack victim, you can seek compensation for damages based on the following parameters;
Dog bite injuries cause dog attack victims a lot of physical pain resulting from the bites, scratches, and puncture wounds inflicted by the dog. In their attempts to escape or defend themselves, victims might also sustain other injuries such as dislocation of joints and fracturing of their bones. They can also suffer skull injuries that can be fatal.
Emotional trauma and suffering
A dog attack is a very terrifying experience that causes a lot of emotional trauma to the victim. This is because the sheer amount of fear and terror caused by a hostile dog emotionally torments a victim and destabilizes them. Depending on the severity of the attack and the mental and emotional health of a victim, they might take a long time to recover from the trauma. Therefore, dog attack victims can seek compensation for emotional suffering in their dog attack lawsuits.
Cost of treatment and medication
Victims that have sustained dog bite injuries can demand compensation for medical expenses. These expenses may be payment for basic medical care or complex, advanced procedures such as skin grafting and reconstructive plastic surgery. Damages for medical expenses have to factor in the costs of medical care already received and any future medical services if the victim still requires further medical attention. However, the payable future treatment and medication expenses only apply to medical care necessitated by the dog attack.
Dog bite injury victims deserve to be compensated for lost income. Victims lose income when they miss work because they are undergoing treatment for a dog attack. In such a case, the victim’s employer has to verify their absence from work and the total number of work hours missed. Severe dog bite injuries that greatly compromise a person’s physical abilities may also undermine their future capacity to work and support themselves. A victim can also be compensated for this future forfeited income.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Dog Bite?
A dog bite injury case might seem like a small, trivial matter. After all, it’s just a dog, right? Due to this reason, a victim may consider representing themselves in their quest for compensation. Just like in any other legal case, this is allowed. However, it is not the best course of action for you as a victim to take. Dog attack victims require a dog bite injury attorney for the following reasons;
- Dog bite injury lawyers have extensive experience in collecting concrete and irrefutable evidence required to prove your dog bite injury claim.
- A personal injury attorney has the legal knowledge and expertise to evaluate and appropriately advise you on what to do.
- As a victim, you stand to get better compensation if you hire a personal injury lawyer as they have excellent negotiation skills.
- A dog bite attorney can represent you in court if you are not able to reach an out-of-court settlement.
- A dog bite attorney will assist you in navigating the complexities of personal injury lawsuits.
What to Do if You Are Attacked by a Dog
Dog bite injuries should be treated with a lot of seriousness as any other animal attack. If you have been attacked by a dog, take the following steps;
Who Covers the Costs of a Dog Bite Injury Settlement?
If a liable dog owner has homeowner’s insurance or business liability insurance coverage, the insurance company compensates the dog bite victim. In very rare cases does the dog owner pay damages out of their own pockets.
This is the main reason why it is important to hire a qualified personal injury attorney to handle your dog bite injury case. Big insurance companies will always seek to absolve themselves from liability. In cases where there is irrefutable proof of liability, they try to pay the least amount of money in damages.
Therefore, it is wise to enlist the services of a qualified dog bite attorney to represent you. If you represent yourself, the insurance companies can end up paying way less in damages than they would have paid if you had the help of a legal expert.
Who is the Best Lawyer to Represent me in my Dog Bite Injury Case?
It is critical to have the best personal injury lawyer presenting your injury claim if you are to get a favorable outcome. Below are some of the criteria you should use to determine which lawyer should represent you in your injury case;
- The attorney should be well-educated and certified fit to practice law
- The attorney should have extensive experience representing victims in personal injury lawsuits
- The attorney should have several successful dog bite injury lawsuits in which they represented dog bite victims
- The attorney should be reliable, trustworthy, and able to negotiate all terms with your best interests in mind
How Do I Know if my Dog Bite Injury Claim is Valid?
Before a lawyer can go forward to help you file a dog bite injury lawsuit, your claim has to be valid. The following conditions have to be met;
What is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite Case?
While all dog bite injury victims are due compensation for damages caused, there is no uniform settlement amount for these cases. Dog attacks vary greatly in the severity of injuries caused and the specific circumstances surrounding the attacks. Therefore, the monetary compensation differs from case to case.
However, all victims can demand compensation for;
Can I Sue a Dog Owner for Attacking me?
Dog owners can be held liable for dog bite injuries caused by their dogs. To sue the owner of a dangerous dog, you have to prove that the dog is indeed theirs. There also has to be evidence that the dog bite was as a result of their negligence. This can be in terms of them not taking the necessary precautions to prevent dog bites or due to their violation of local regulations.
Once liability is proven, demand for compensation can be made and an out-of-court settlement reached. If you are not satisfied with the defendant’s settlement offer, you can proceed with litigation. If a judge finds your dog bite injury case compelling, you will be awarded damages to be paid by the defendant’s insurance.
Why Hire Us As Your Dog Bite Injury Attorney?
To get the rightful compensation amount for your dog bite injury case, you must enlist the services of the best personal injury lawyer you can find. We are well-suited to represent you. We have a team of highly-qualified personal injury attorneys to take up your case. Our lawyers have extensive experience in filing personal injury lawsuits and winning large settlements for clients. We operate by high professional standards, and our primary objective is to get justice for all personal injury victims.
As your dog bite attorneys, we offer the following;
Free consultation and evaluation
We offer free consultation, so you don’t have to worry about any consultation fees. During the evaluation, we carefully analyze your case to establish all the unique aspects of your claim. We establish the validity of your claim and then present you with all the legal options you have.
Collection of evidence
Our team of lawyers conducts a thorough investigation of the attack to get all the facts right. We collect foolproof evidence and help you prepare a compelling dog bite injury case. We ensure that your claim is strong and stands to win you the compensation amount you deserve.
Demand for compensation
Once we have all the requisite facts and documents, we help you to make a compensation demand. This demand for compensation is addressed to the liable dog owner, their insurance company, and any other involved parties. We assist you in negotiating for the best compensation amount you can get. The responsible parties can then make you a settlement offer.
Representation at trial
If you deem the compensation amount offered by the defendants satisfactory, we help you settle the matter out of court. However, if you reject the offer and the defendant is unwilling to revise their terms, we file a dog bite lawsuit on your behalf and pursue litigation.
Collection of your compensation
Once the court approves your claim and awards you compensation, we assist you to collect the settlement in line with due procedure.
Of all the dog bite victims in the USA, not more than 1% get compensated for their injuries. Do not let yourself suffer in silence. We are here to represent you and ensure that you are compensated for the injuries you sustain from a dog attack.
If you are seeking a St. Petersburg dog bite attorney, contact us today and we will be at your service. Because our law firm’s attorneys are well-versed with Florida state laws concerning dog bite attacks, you stand a huge chance of winning the lawsuit and getting compensated well.
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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