The Florida Dog Bite Injury Guide was created by Victory Law Firm to help injured residents obtain maximum compensation. Call our lawyers for a consultation.
Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, or so they say. If you’ve come into contact with a vicious and aggressive dog, then you might think otherwise. Dog bites can be terrible and cause serious damage, including permanent injury. Our Florida dog bite lawyers are here to help you if your rights have been violated by someone who failed to keep you safe from their vicious and aggressive dog. We have been committed to helping our community for many years and we would like to provide you with the same support and success that we have given to other people in your same or similar situation. Call us today to set up a free initial consultation to get to know what your legal rights are. Get started on getting justice today.
Dog Bite Compensation Award
Justice for your dog bite accident is going to be sought in the form of financial compensation, which should come from the liable party’s insurance company. Some people might be hesitant to file a claim if they know the dog owner but rest assured that you are not asking for out-of-pocket expenses from this dog owner. Their insurance companies are designed to handle events such as this and we want to make sure we hold them accountable for your financial compensation, not the dog owner themselves.
Your compensation for a dog bite incident is going to be in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Some non-economic damages that you might suffer could be psychological. Especially if you are looking for justice for your child who has been bitten by a dog, you might notice that they have a fear of dogs and that can hinder them later on in life. Their quality of life can suffer because they cannot have a dog or be around dogs. Later when they’re older and looking for a roommate or a companion in life and they have dogs, this can be a huge hindrance for them. We work very hard to make sure that we explore all of the possible non-economic damages that you or your child has suffered so we make sure that your award in the end is fair and full and represents everything that you’ve had to go through.
Economic damages for dog attacks are most often medical bills. In particular with medical treatment for dog bites, we might see that you needed to see a plastic surgeon who specializes in limiting the amount of scarring and disfigurement that you could have after a dog bite. We also look for any other financial losses that are related to this dog attack and include them in your final compensation award under the category of economic damages or economic losses. These are easily calculated once we track down all of the ways you have financially lost because of this incident.
Our Florida dog bite lawyers want to hear from you right away to ensure that you get the best possible result. Set up a free consultation today.
Florida Statute of Limitations for Dog Bites
In Florida, you are given four years from the date of your dog bite to file your claim in civil court. We know that four years sounds like quite a long time but this shouldn’t make you complacent when you are considering filing a case and talking to Florida dog bite lawyers. You absolutely should reach out to us as soon as you can after the incident. Many people hear that the statute of limitations is four years long and then think they can wait and put off talking to a lawyer to file a case. In the meantime, evidence could disappear. It could fall off of your radar and you could forget for many years about this case and maybe it would be too late to file a claim because after the statute of limitations runs out, you’re barred from filing a case. That’s a completely avoidable mistake. Don’t let that stop you from getting the justice you deserve.
Florida Dog Bite Laws
Dog owners need to be able to control their dogs, especially if they think that they are going to become violent and attack. Florida is a strict liability state, which means that even if this is the first time a dog has bitten someone, the owner can still be held responsible for the damages and injuries that the dog caused. Owners of dogs need to make sure that their dogs are properly secured at all times to mitigate risk for people on their property or within harm’s way of their animal, regardless of whether or not they think that their dog would attack someone. Dogs can be unpredictable and if there was no care given to restraining the animal, we can pursue justice for this wrongdoing.
We need to be able to prove that the owner was negligent. An example of that would be if they were at a park where leash laws are enforced but they decided not to put their dog on a leash, came up to you, and their dog attacked you. In that situation, we are going to use that as proof that they were being negligent and careless and their actions were directly responsible for the harm that you suffered.
Issues We May Face
Our Florida dog bite lawyers are ready for most anything that could happen during our case. We know the defenses that the insurance companies are going to use to excuse what happened to you and to make the dog owner seem less at fault for this incident. We have our own tactics to use against them to ensure that they are held responsible for the damages that they caused.
Both the insurance companies and your Florida dog bite lawyers understand how fault is apportioned in Florida. If you get blamed for a portion of the accident, then your compensation can be reduced by however much they find you to be at fault for. They have every inclination to try to blame you for this accident. We want to fight against this to make sure that your rights aren’t violated and you aren’t missing out on justice because they just want to make a profit for their insurance company. We don’t want the greedy insurance companies to get a recorded statement from you for any reason because that can essentially help them reduce what they are going to give you if you say the wrong things during the statement, so always let your lawyers handle this conversation with them.
Tips for a Successful Dog Bite Claim
After being involved in an incident where you were attacked and bitten by a dog, it’s common to feel frustrated, lost, and helpless. Having any injury can make you feel like you’re missing out and your life has been changed for the worse. We totally understand that. This was a completely avoidable accident because the dog owner didn’t take proper measures to keep you safe from their aggressive animal that was prone to violence. There are things that you can do to ensure the success of your case, though. You should collect evidence after your dog bite. Get photos of the area surrounding the incident as well as the dog involved in the attack. You can call Animal Control to make a report about your incident and have them make their own evidence collection.
If you are not able to get a form of proof that this dog was up-to-date with his vaccinations, you need to tell the emergency room staff or the urgent care doctors that you were bitten by a dog who potentially carries rabies. If they can’t produce proof that the dog was vaccinated, then they’re likely going to start treatment for you which can be unpleasant and sometimes expensive. You should not let that prevent you, however, from seeking this kind of treatment, as the consequences are severe and we will also be pursuing damages to cover this.
Your medical attention is the priority here. Damages we’ve seen people suffer after a dog attack include injury to the tendons and nerves, as well as scarring and disfigurement. Those are considered permanent damages and severe damages that warrant you receiving higher compensation. Psychological trauma is also common, especially in children, as we mentioned.
Do what you need to do to get better and listen to what your doctor has to say about everything. We want to help you and you need to make sure that you get the treatment you need to help yourself.
Frequently Asked Dog Bite Questions
Can someone other than the dog owner be responsible?
One of the most common questions we get is who’s responsible if a dog attacks someone. Now, the natural answer is the dog owner, but it doesn’t end there. There could be other parties who were negligent even though they had no possession, control, or ownership of the actual dog that attacked you. It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who handled these particular types of cases. We’ll be able to know how many defendants there might be, how many at fault parties there might be, other theories of negligence to pursue in furtherance of your case. If you have been the victim of a dog bite attack, please contact us here at the Victory law firm.
Does homeowner insurance usually cover dog bites?
Recently we had a client who was the victim of a Pitbull attack. Now, the particular owner of that Pitbull had no homeowner’s insurance. They were the renter of a home. They had no policy of insurance that could compensate the unfortunate victim of this horrible horrific attack but because she reached out to me, an experienced dog bite attorney, we were able to recover over $400,000 for her. There are policies out there and they are specific to your particular case. Sometimes it can be a landlord. Sometimes it could be a municipality, a city. There’s any number of entities that maybe were not in control or possession of the animal but attacking negligently to contribute to the attack. Sometimes maybe a fence was not maintained. Whose responsibility is that fence? Is it the city’s? is it a private owner? Do they have insurance? There’s any number of different ways to recover for a dog bite case. If you are the victim of a dog bite, we implore you to please hire an attorney who’s experienced in this type of case who attacks these cases aggressively and who will be here for you right from the beginning to answer any questions or doubts you have about your claim. Again, please reach out to us at the Victory law firm.
How do I select the best dog bite attorney in Florida?
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog bite attack, it is critically important that you hire an attorney who’s experienced specifically in dog bite attacks. Many attorneys will advertise being a personal injury attorney will take any type of case that they feel falls under that heading but it’s critically important that your attorney have extreme experience, knowledge, and the ability to go to trial on these types of cases. Dog bite injuries are devastating. In Florida, the average settlement on a dog bite case is a little bit over $35,000 and the range of injuries can be vast. Just a few months ago, we settled a claim for over $400,000 on a dog bite case. When choosing an attorney, you really want to choose one who’s actually experienced in dog bite cases. It is the make or break decision of your entire case. If you or someone you know has been involved in a dog bite incident, please contact us here at the Victory law firm so that we can help you with that right away.
How do I know if I have a qualified dog bite case?
If you have been the victim of a dog bite attack, it’s critically important that you reach out to us at the Victory law firm as quickly as possible. A lot of times, clients don’t know what they’re supposed to do, whether they have a claim and who that claim might be against. Oftentimes, it is the dog owner but sometimes it might be against an apartment complex. It might be against the landlord. It could be any number of potential defendants in the case. If you are the victim of a dog bite attack, please reach out to the Victory law firm. We are experienced in the specific type of law and we’ll be able to help you with your case. You may not think you have a case. You may not know who the case may be against. That’s why you’re not alone. Please reach out to the Victory law firm if you are the victim of a dog bite attack.
How does a beware of dog sign affect my claim?
One of the most common questions we get is the legal implications of a beware of dog or bad dog sign on someone’s house or property. If a dog owner has a beware of dog sign and you are on the property invited by them, there are certain protections afforded by putting on that warning but that doesn’t mean that the owner of the dog is completely absolved from any liability if you are attacked by that dangerous dog. The dog owner still has a responsibility to not act negligently. They have a responsibility and a duty to you to either keep the dog chained up, keep the dog locked away. There’s any number of things that a homeowner can do or not do that will expose themselves to liability for negligence. Just because they have that bad dog sign doesn’t absolve them from responsibility. Now, if they have a bad dog sign and someone’s a trespasser on the property, they might be off the hook, but for you, someone who’s invited on the property and is attacked by their dog, just because they have that warning sign doesn’t preclude you from recovery from that dog owner’s negligence. It’s reasons like this that it’s critically important for you to hire an attorney who’s experienced in dog bite attacks, not just any attorney. Please if you have been the victim of a dog bite attack, contact us here at the Victory law firm.
How long is it going to take to resolve my dog bite injury claim?
One of our recent clients who was the victim of a dog bite asked us how long their case would take to settle. Dog bite cases can be complicated but the biggest thing about them is the amount of damage that can be sustained from a dog bite. That can be something as little as a nip or it can be a devastating injury and permanent damage, muscle damage, nerve damage, tissue damage. It all depends on the particular injury. That’s going to determine how long it takes to settle your case in part because the amount of treatment you get is something that shouldn’t be rushed. If you have devastating injuries, you need to follow through with all that treatment. Cases where medical treatment is less severe, they tend to settle a little bit more quickly.
The second factor is liability. If the owner of the dog accepts liability, then certainly that will push the case along more quickly. What we find is dog bite cases can be extremely complicated in that whether it’s a dog owner, a renter, a landlord who might be liable for your damages, that can determine who accepts liability, who denies liability. Dog bite cases are unlike any other type of case. If an attorney is not specifically experienced in dog bite cases, your case could end up in limbo for a very long time. The attorneys here at the Victory law firm are very experienced in dog bite cases. We pursue them aggressively and quickly. If you are the victim of a dog bite, please reach out to us at the Victory law firm right away.
How do I determine the value of my dog bite claim in Florida?
We’ve represented many clients who are the victims of a dog bite attack. Now, naturally, one of their first questions is to ask how much their case is worth. The answer to that question is first what are the injuries and the medical bills associated with those injuries. Generally, the higher the medical bills, the higher the value of the case. Now, that’s just a starting off point. Dog bites tend to have devastating consequences and have repercussions in every aspect of your life. Now, what we call that is pain and suffering. Again, it’s unlike any other type of case. There could be psychological issues that you experience down the road. Maybe you never feel comfortable around a dog again. These are things that are compensable under our system. There are things that a jury might award you on top of what your medical bills and expenses are.
Also did you lose time from work because of the incident? Did you lose the ability to earn income in the future? Have you had to make certain accommodations to your life because of your injuries? There’s any number of things that could contribute to the value of your case, but it is critically important that you hire an attorney that is experienced in these types of cases. Not just a personal injury attorney but an attorney that’s experienced in dog bite cases. At the Victory law firm, we settle dog bite cases well over six figures on multiple occasions because we know how to handle these cases. We push them forward. Insurance companies know we’re not afraid to try these types of cases. If you are the victim of a dog bite, please, the most important thing is that you contact an attorney who’s experienced in that. Please reach out to us at the Victory law firm.
What should I do after a dog bite?
If you’re the victim of a dog bite attack here in Florida, obviously the first thing you need to do is get medical attention. If you can, dial 911 right away. Dog bites are severe, and they can be fatal. Unfortunately, we’ve had one too many clients whose lives have been devastated due to a dog attack. There are certain things that can be done right away to help your case along obviously. As much information as you can gather by way of photographs and video is extremely helpful to your case. A lot of times, people who are the victims of dog bites never get the photograph of the dog, the surrounding circumstances. Maybe that dog got out of a yard. Maybe there was a fence that was open at the particular time. Where did that dog come from? Did it have a leash on it? Did it have a collar? There’s a lot of investigation that goes on into building up a dog bite claim.
Now, the attorneys here at the Victory law firm are extremely experienced in this so it’s critically important that you hire an attorney who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to these types of cases. For example, different jurisdictions have different rules on dog bite cases, from Miami Dade County to Broward County to Hillsborough County, Orange County, there’s different rules in place. For example, here in Orange County, a dog must be on a leash if it’s not contained within the home at all times. Now, that can vary from county to county. Miami Dade County has flat out bans on certain breeds of dogs. Counties might have different restrictions based on the breed of dog, from Rottweilers to Pitbulls, Dobermans, Chows, Akitas, there’s a lot of very specific information that an experienced attorney in dog bite cases will know and will bring to bear to bring out the value of your case. If you are the victim of a dog bite case, first thing you need to do, get medical attention right away, no matter the severity of your injury. The second thing is to call the Victory law firm.
Sometimes clients call and tell us they were injured in an accident due to somebody else’s fault; either they forgot, they were in a hurry, or some people are just opposed to it still. What we tell those clients is you are able to receive compensation for injuries sustained in that car accident as long as the seat belt would not have prevented them. For example, if you’re struck from the side and you break your arm against the door, you have a valid claim for that injury. However, if by wearing a seat belt you would not have struck your head on the steering wheel, for example, then you are not protected. It’s called the seat belt defense. What would happen is, although we would claim all of the injuries that were caused by the accident, the defendants are allowed to assert as a defense that because you weren’t wearing a seat belt those injuries should be either precluded or diminished because of your failure to wear that device.
Call Our Florida Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you have suffered a serious injury because you were attacked by a dog, we hope that you reach out to our Florida dog bite lawyers as soon as you possibly can. After you’ve received the medical attention that you need, please set up a free consultation with our lawyers to learn what you are legally entitled to in terms of compensation and justice. We intend to hold the liable party responsible for damages and injuries and we want to fight fearlessly and tirelessly to ensure that the results in the end are full and fair. Do not delay reaching out as these cases can be time-sensitive. Call us today for your free, first consultation.