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Florida holds dog owners responsible for the actions of their dogs, which means that if you suffer injuries in a dog attack, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. However, many people struggle to determine how much money they may seek from the dog’s owner.
Did a dog attack you? Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can help you learn more about your rights and how to seek compensation. Contact us for your free consultation.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers feel a strong duty to help victims who may not have the means or knowledge to help themselves after a severe dog attack. We offer committed support as we work with our clients through the personal injury claim process and aid them in pursuing the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Dog owners often use one of two arguments to deny liability for a dog attack. They may argue that their dog did not attack you and therefore could not have caused your injuries, or they may try to establish that you trespassed on their property. Under Florida law, these offer the primary defenses against dog attack liability.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we can help collect evidence to establish where your attack occurred, that you had the legal right to enter that area, and that the dog attacked you. Having the right evidence on hand can help your dog bite claim progress smoothly.
After a dog attack, many clients struggle to estimate how much compensation they might deserve for the incident. After even a mild dog attack, you may have significant injuries or considerable medical expenses, especially if you require ongoing treatment for infection or other challenges as you recover. We work with our clients to calculate the true extent of their losses so that they can include them as part of a dog attack claim.
In a dog bite case, you will usually deal with one of two entities. You might deal with the dog’s owner directly, especially if the dog’s owner does not have insurance. Or, you may find yourself negotiating with the owner’s insurance company.
An insurance company may attempt to deny or limit the coverage you can pursue. Similarly, the dog’s owner may try to avoid paying for the dog’s dangerous actions. However, working with a personal injury lawyer like those at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can make it easier to handle negotiations and the challenges that accompany them.
Dealing with a dog attack in Florida can require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer since it can be challenging to receive compensation for dog attack injuries.
In Florida, which is a strict liability dog bite state, dog attack victims have the right to pursue compensation when:
People have the right to enter most public places without worrying about a potential dog attack. If a dog attacked you in a public place, you might have the right to seek compensation from the dog’s owner.
Most of the time, dog owners do not think twice about inviting others to their property. However, suppose a dog attack occurs on private property that the dog owner invited the victim to enter. In that case, the dog’s owner may be liable for the victim’s injuries.
Strict liability means that the dog’s owner must accept liability any time their dog attacks, even if the dog had never attacked anyone before or acted aggressively.
Dog bites can cause serious puncture injuries that doctors struggle to stitch up in the hospital due to the angle of the teeth. In addition, dog bites may carry other substantial risks.
Big dogs often have powerful jaws that can break bones in an attack. Usually, broken bones take a while to heal. In addition to limiting the victim’s ability to perform activities while recovering, some broken bones may require surgical attention to set the bone properly. Victims may also need physical therapy for optimal healing.
When a dog bites down, it introduces the bacteria in its mouth to the wound. The bacteria increase the victim’s risk of infection. Victims may need tetanus or rabies treatment, depending on whether the victim has reason to suspect that the dog might have had a disease.
In addition to the physical trauma often associated with dog attacks, many victims contend with psychological trauma because of their injuries. Dog bite victims may struggle with increased anxiety, PTSD, or higher rates of depression. Some dog bite victims find it difficult to visit outdoor public spaces after the accident since they struggle with the trauma of the initial attack.
Many people fall during dog attacks, either out of fear or because of the force exerted by the dog. Falling can cause broken bones, whiplash, head injuries, shoulder or wrist injuries, and hip injuries, among other things.
If you fall during a dog attack, you may endure additional trauma and a long road to recovery. Speak with an experienced attorney about your case to find out more about how you can seek compensation for your trauma.
It may surprise you just how high medical costs for a dog attack can grow. You may have gone to the emergency room immediately after the attack, where you received attention from doctors. You may have follow-up appointments to remove stitches or check a wound that looks infected. You may have expensive medications, especially if you have a high risk of infection or start noticing signs of infection around the wound.
If you fall during the dog attack, you might need x-rays, surgery, and ongoing treatment to help deal with the impact of severe injuries. Furthermore, you may require physical therapy or even occupational therapy to help you contend with the full extent of the limitations that accompany your injuries.
Keep track of all the medical expenses related to your dog attack since you may need to prove the extent of your financial losses as part of your claim.
Often, dog attacks injuries ultimately lead to significant lost time at work for the victim. Sometimes, your injuries can prevent you from working for a few days while you deal with the initial trauma from the accident and start down the road to recovery. Other times, especially if you suffer severe injuries, you may have to spend a long time out of work while you recover. You may also need to miss work if your profession could introduce a significant risk of infection to your wound.
Talk to your lawyer about how to seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the dog attack. Dog attacks can lead to immense suffering and considerable ongoing challenges, especially if you experience increased anxiety or conditions like PTSD after the accident. An attorney can help you determine how your pain and suffering impacts your dog attack claim.
If a dog attacks you in St. Petersburg, make sure you take the right steps to protect yourself.
You may need to call 911 from the accident scene to request medical help. Having law enforcement come to the scene can also make it easier to determine which dog caused the attack, who owns the dog, and other information you might need about the dog.
Any time you encounter a dangerous dog, you should report it to Animal Services. A dangerous dog includes any animal that might have aggressively bitten or attacked a person, as in the case of your dog attack. Animal Services can follow up with the dog owner to get a better idea of what led to the attack and what steps the owner may need to take in the future.
You need to know if the dog has current shots and has shown any signs of disease. If the dog does not have vaccinations, that could change your future course of treatment. If you cannot see proof of the dog’s vaccination, tell your medical care provider.
Do not put yourself in danger to talk to the dog’s owner, including a situation that might require you to remain in close contact with the dog. Instead, let the police or Animal Services collect that information for you if needed.
Do not put off medical care for a dog bite, even one that seems minor. You may need antibiotics to help reduce the risk of infection, which you can only get from a doctor. Go to urgent care or the emergency room if needed.
While you may deserve compensation for your expenses under Florida’s strict liability law, many dog owners will fight against paying you anything. They do not want to acknowledge the damage caused by the dog. Some dog owners may even try to prove that you provoked the dog or otherwise caused the attack.
A lawyer can help establish the circumstances that led to the dog attack, determine the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and represent you. Whether you need to deal with the dog owner’s insurance company or even take the case to court, a lawyer will guide you through every step of the process and provide support along the way.
Did you sustain severe injuries in a St. Petersburg dog attack? Do you need more information about your next steps, including how to manage a personal injury claim against the dog’s owner? Contact us at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys at (727) 290-0890 to learn more about seeking compensation.
Perenich Law Injury Attorneys – St. Petersburg Office
Phone: (727) 290-0890