Dog Bite Lawyer Florida
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 4.7 million people bitten by dogs in the United States each year. This comes out to one in 70 people who become victims of dog bites each year. If you have suffered a dog bite or attack, contact a dog bite lawyer Florida families trust from Tuttle Larsen, P.A. to find out what legal recourse you may have for the losses your injuries have caused.
Although it is rare that dog bites result in the victim’s death, many of these attacks do result in serious to severe injuries. National statistics show that more than 800,000 dog bites result in the victim being hospitalized every year. Even though most dogs are lovable and friendly animals, a dog that is triggered or provoked can very quickly become a dangerous one. The following are some of the more serious injuries dog bite victims can suffer.
Injuries of the Victim’s Face
Dog bites to the face can be devastating for the victim because of the permanent damage and scarring these bites can leave. In addition, bite injuries to the victim’s mouth area can have a significant impact on their ability to speak or eat. If the dog bites or claws at the victim’s eyes, they can suffer blindness. Dog bites or mauling to the face often require extensive reconstructive surgery. The cost of these surgeries is often substantial and should be included in any dog bite lawsuit settlement or award the victim files.
Injuries to the Victim’s Limbs
Many dog bite injuries are to a victim’s arms or legs. Legs are especially vulnerable because an attacking dog has immediate access to the legs. Hands and arms are often bitten if the victim is attempting to pat the dog when the attack occurs. They may also be injured if the victim uses their hands or arms to protect themselves against the attack. Dog bite injuries to limbs can cause nerve damage which can end up being permanent. There is also a high risk of infections, including Pasteurella, MRSA, or rabies that can put the victim’s health at serious risk.
Injuries to the Victim’s Neck
Children are often the victims of dog attacks and because of their size, injuries and bites are usually to their head and neck area. Dog bites to the neck can be fatal because of the risk of he excessive trauma and hemorrhaging. Children who do survive these kinds of attacks often suffer significant and permanent nerve damage, including permanent damage to vocal cords, leaving the child unable to speak.
What Florida Law Says About Dog Bite Accidents
When bitten by a dog, Florida law states the victim may be entitled to compensation. This is true even if the victim was somehow negligent and contributed to the bite. However, their carelessness or negligence will lower the dog owner’s liability.
If a dog bite occurs on the owner’s property, the owner will generally be found liable unless the owner had an easily readable sign displayed in a prominent place that included the words, “Bad Dog.” However, there are exceptions to this. If the victim was under the age of six, or if a dog bites a victim of any age and the injury was caused by the dog owner’s negligence, having such a sign displayed will not shield the dog owner from liability for injuries their dog causes.
How Our Lawyers Can Help with Your Dog Bite Case
Hiring an attorney to represent you in a dog bite action means you have an advocate on your side, helping to make sure the dog’s owner is held accountable. The dog’s owner, or his or her insurance company, may offer you money as compensation after a dog bite injury. Have an attorney review your case before you accept such a settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide an objective evaluation of the case and offered settlement amount, making sure you receive fair compensation.
Tuttle Larsen, P.A., Has the Knowledge And Experience You Need
Dog bites can cause serious injury to a person. If you or someone you love was injured because of a dog bite, it is important to understand that you have rights under Florida law. When you choose to work with Tuttle Larsen, P.A., you can have the confidence and peace of mind that comes from knowing your attorney is compassionate and fair but isn’t afraid to be aggressive about fighting for your rights. We work hard to help injured people get justice.
Each Florida dog bite lawyer at Tuttle Larsen, P.A., has successfully helped many victims of dog bite injuries recover the compensation they are owed. To learn more about dog bite cases, call us or contact us online today to schedule a free initial case evaluation in our Vero Beach office.
Steps After a Dog Bite
If you live in Florida and have been bitten by a dog, a Florida dog bite accident lawyer knows that it is essential to understand what actions you should take to protect your legal rights and ensure your safety. Tuttle Larsen, P.A. has compiled some important steps to follow after a dog bite from a legal perspective:
- Seek Medical Attention Immediately. If you have been bitten by a dog, your first priority should be seeking medical attention. Even if the wound seems minor, it is essential to get a professional evaluation to assess the severity of the injury and prevent any potential infections.
- Identify the Dog and Its Owner. Try to identify the dog that bit you and its owner. If you don’t know the owner, try to get a description of them or the location where the dog was found. Knowing the identity of the dog and its owner will help you in case you need to file a claim or lawsuit against them.
- Document the Incident. Documenting the incident is crucial for your case. Take photographs of your injuries and the location where the dog bite occurred. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and ask them to provide a written statement detailing what they saw.
- Contact the Authorities. Report the dog bite to your local animal control agency or police department. The authorities will investigate the incident and ensure that the dog is properly quarantined and checked for rabies.
- Preserve Evidence. Preserving evidence is essential for your case. Keep all the documentation you have gathered in a safe place and do not tamper with any evidence. If you have torn or bloody clothing, do not wash or throw it away, as it can be used as evidence.
- Contact a Lawyer. Contact a Florida dog bite accident lawyer experienced in dog bite cases to protect your legal rights and maximize your compensation. An experienced attorney will help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.
- File a Claim or Lawsuit. If you have sustained injuries from a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim or lawsuit against the dog owner to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
- Follow Up with Medical Treatment. Continue to follow up with your medical treatment until you have fully recovered from your injuries. Your medical records will serve as critical evidence in your case and will help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
- Be Patient. The legal process can be lengthy, so it is essential to be patient and trust in your legal team. An experienced personal injury lawyer will work diligently to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Florida, follow these steps to protect your legal rights and ensure your safety. Remember that documenting the incident, seeking medical attention, and contacting a lawyer are essential steps to take to maximize your compensation and hold the dog owner responsible for their actions. Reach out to Tuttle Larsen, P.A. to speak with our Florida dog bite accident lawyer now.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Cases – Answered
Dog bite incidents can often lead to complex legal cases, and our Vero Beach, FL dog bite accident lawyers will explain that they will involve complex elements such as liability, negligence, and potentially significant personal injury. Navigating the legal landscape following a dog bite incident can be overwhelming for both the victims and the dog owners as they grapple with the potential legal, financial, and emotional implications. Our Tuttle Larsen, P.A. has addressed five essential questions surrounding legal cases involving dog bite accidents, aiming to clarify some common concerns and misconceptions.
Who is legally responsible for a dog bite?
Generally, the dog’s owner is primarily held responsible for a dog bite. The legal basis for this falls under the principle of ‘strict liability,’ which holds owners accountable for their pet’s actions, irrespective of whether they were negligent or had prior knowledge of the dog’s propensity for aggression. However, the application of strict liability can vary based on jurisdiction and specific state laws. Some jurisdictions might follow the ‘one bite rule,’ holding the owner liable only if they had prior knowledge of their dog’s aggressive behavior.
What defenses can dog owners use in a dog bite case?
There are a few commonly used defenses in dog bite cases. These include provocation, trespassing, and contributory negligence. Provocation refers to the victim inciting the dog to bite them through their actions. If the victim was trespassing or unlawfully on the owner’s property when bitten, this could also provide a defense. Contributory negligence involves situations where the victim’s careless behavior contributed to the incident.
Can a victim sue for damages following a dog bite?
Our Vero Beach dog bite accident lawyers will tell victims that it is possible to sue for damages following a dog bit. They may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages due to inability to work, property damage, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The success of such a lawsuit and the amount of potential compensation depends on the case’s circumstances and the jurisdiction’s specific laws.
What if a dog bites someone while under the care of a dog sitter or walker?
In cases where a dog bites someone while under the care of a dog sitter or walker, the legal responsibility can become complex. Depending on the jurisdiction, the dog’s owner may still be held responsible. However, if it can be proven that the sitter or walker was negligent in their care, leading to the bite, they could potentially share some liability.
Can homeowners’ or renters’ insurance cover dog bite liability?
Many homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies cover liabilities arising from dog bites. However, this varies based on the specific policy, and some insurance companies may exclude certain breeds considered high-risk. Owners should review their insurance policy or consult with their insurance agent to ensure adequate coverage.
Dog bite legal cases can be multifaceted, involving various factors such as the strict liability principle, potential defenses, damages claims, the role of caregivers, and insurance coverage. Both victims and dog owners should understand these aspects to navigate the aftermath of a dog bite incident effectively. Consulting with our Vero Beach dog bite accident lawyers can be highly beneficial in understanding individual rights and responsibilities in specific circumstances, to learn more, contact Tuttle Larsen, P.A.