In the aftermath of a dog attack, you may have a lot of questions about both your rights and your next steps. Do you deserve compensation for the dog attack and the suffering you faced as a result? What steps should you take to get that much-needed compensation?
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our skilled injury attorneys have helped many victims of serious accidents, including dog attacks, pursue compensation for their injuries. Contact a Tampa dog bite lawyer at our firm today to learn more about your right to compensation.
Florida Dog Bite Laws: Strict Liability
Florida has a strict liability policy when it comes to dog bite laws: the dog’s owner bears liability for any damage or injuries caused by the dog’s attack, even if the dog has no history of biting.
Florida dog bite law also does not require dog bite victims to establish that negligence on the part of the dog’s owner led to the attack. In other states, you might, for example, have to prove that the dog’s owner allowed the dog off-leash in a public place, or that the dog’s owner failed to properly restrain the dog within a fenced-in environment to move forward with a dog bite claim.
In Florida, on the other hand, you may only need to show that the dog caused your injuries, even if the owner took precautions to avoid the incident.
Perenich Law Injury Attorneys Can Help
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our Tampa lawyers have a strong obligation to speak up for dog bite victims that might not, for any reason, have the capacity to speak for and work for themselves as they pursue compensation for injuries sustained in a dog attack. Dealing with the aftermath of an attack can prove highly traumatic. Many victims end up accepting less compensation they deserve, particularly if they have substantial financial losses related to the dog attack.
We work hard to help our clients deal with the challenges related to a dog attack and its aftermath.
We help break down the financial losses you have faced directly due to the dog attack.
You may not realize just how high your medical bills have grown or what other losses you have experienced as a direct result of the attack. At Perenich Law, our seasoned Tampa dog bite attorneys help our clients take a close look at all their financial losses so they can put together an effective claim that reflects what they have lost due to a dog’s dangerous behavior.
We help establish that our clients did not have a role in the dog attack.
Sometimes, dog owners attempt to defend against a dog bite claim by trying to show that the injured person facilitated the dog attack in some way, often by pressuring the dog unnecessarily. We help present the evidence you may need to establish that you did not provoke the dog or push the attack in any way.
We fight on behalf of our clients, whether you have to deal with the dog owner directly or contend with a homeowners insurance company.
Getting the compensation you deserve rarely looks as simple as just providing the claim and detailing the extent of your losses. You may also have to fight to get that much-deserved compensation. At Perenich Law, our skilled dog bite lawyers in Tampa can take over negotiation on behalf of our clients, increasing the odds that they will get that vital compensation and putting them in a better position to continue to negotiate for what they deserve throughout the claim.
After Tampa Dog Attacks: Injuries and More
When a dog attacks, it uses its teeth and, occasionally, its nails to do damage to the victim. Dogs have extremely strong jaws, which means that they may do a great deal of damage before the victim can get away.
#1. Puncture Wounds
Both a dog’s teeth and a dog’s nails can cause puncture wounds, which may serve as a breeding ground for potential infection. Puncture wounds may cause severe bleeding. In some cases, you may need stitches. In others, depending on the nature of the wounds, doctors may not have the ability to safely stitch those wounds.
In many cases, puncture wounds and the other damage inflicted during a dog attack lead to significant scarring. Often, especially when the scarring occurs around the face, the victim may struggle with the psychological impact of that scarring.
Some victims will also need plastic surgery to help restore normal appearance after scarring from a dog attack. Unfortunately, plastic surgery may not always fully restore a normal appearance. Plastic surgery may also mean a longer road to recovery and significant medical expenses.
#3. Crushing Damage
In addition to puncture damage, dog attacks can lead to extreme crushing damage. Many dogs have very strong jaws that can break through bone when they clamp down. That crushing damage may break the bone, causing immense muscle and soft tissue damage. Often, victims may need surgery to help repair the affected area.
#4. Tetanus, Rabies, and Other Diseases
Sometimes, dogs may carry diseases that they can transmit to the human involved in an attack, including rabies or tetanus. Swift treatment for those conditions can prove critical after a dog attack. If you do not receive fast, reasonable treatment for your injuries, you may find yourself fighting to recover or even facing death.
#5. Psychological Trauma
Often, dog attacks lead to substantial psychological trauma. Some people who have suffered dog attacks have extreme difficulty interacting with dogs in the future. They may suffer from increased anxiety or PTSD related to the attack.
In some cases, that anxiety can interfere with the patient’s everyday life, making it very difficult to do things like going for a walk outside or even visiting stores or facilities that allow dogs. That psychological trauma may also necessitate ongoing counseling, which may help dog attack victims recover from those symptoms.
#6. Fall Injuries
Often, dog attacks lead to the victim falling, which may cause more serious injury than the dog attack itself—especially in elderly or otherwise vulnerable individuals. Fall injuries can prove as simple as broken bones or as complex as head injuries or back and neck injuries, including spinal cord injuries.
What Should You Do After a Tampa Dog Attack?
Following a Tampa dog attack, you may need to take careful steps to ensure that you can protect yourself, both against further injury and so that you can pursue the compensation you may deserve for those injuries.
1. Get contact information for the dog’s owner.
If you have faced an attack from a dog that does not have its owner close by, you may need to collect information like the location of the attack or get a look at the dog’s collar for identifying information. You may also want to check for local dog owners. If the dog’s owner responds to the attack, you can talk to the owner and gather contact information, including potentially insurance information so that you can file a compensation claim.
2. Seek medical care.
If you suffered any type of puncture injury or took a fall during the attack, you should always seek immediate medical care. Dog bites can lead to dangerous infections if left untreated. In the emergency room, a doctor can look over, treat, and disinfect your injuries, then warn you about what symptoms you should watch for and how to know if you have suffered an infection.
Seeking immediate medical care can provide you with a record of when the dog attack took place and establish that your injuries and any complications that may develop resulted directly from that attack.
3. Report the attack.
The Florida Health Department may need to know about the dog attack so that it can address it. The Health Department may also want to monitor the frequency of attacks and whether any infection or disease starts to spread as a direct result of the attack.
You may also want to report the attack to the dog’s owner: a dog that has attacked in the past may prove more likely to attack in the future, and the dog’s owner may need to take steps to prevent it from gaining access to other people in the future.
4. Call a lawyer.
Generally, you will need to pursue compensation for a dog attack through the owner or the owner’s insurance company. Since Florida law does hold the owner liable for the attack, even if the dog does not have a history of attacks in the past, you may assume that the insurance company will automatically offer you the compensation you deserve for the attack.
Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently delay payment or try to minimize the compensation they have to pay out for serious attacks, including dog attacks. Having a well-practiced dog bite lawyer in Tampa on your side can make it easier to handle your dog bite claim while protecting your right to compensation.
How Much Compensation Should You Expect for a Tampa Dog Attack?
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we cannot guarantee the compensation you will recover following a dog attack, since it may depend on several important factors. However, compensation in most personal injury claims, including dog bite claims, may break down into the same general categories.
1. Your medical costs related to the dog attack.
Dog attacks mean, in many cases, significant medical bills. Most dog bites require emergency treatment from a physician, which means that you may have emergency room bills to deal with. You may have follow-up visits or ongoing treatments, especially if you require rabies shots or treatment for an infection.
Furthermore, you may have the right to claim bills for psychological treatment directly related to the dog attack. For example, if you have to see a therapist or take medication for anxiety after the attack, you may have the right to claim those bills as part of your dog bite claim. Share your psychological treatment information with your attorney to learn more about how it could impact your claim.
2. Any wages you lost as a direct result of the dog attack.
Sometimes, following an attack by a dog in Tampa, you may have to stay out of work. Your injuries might interfere with your ability to complete your job safely and effectively, or you might find it very difficult to avoid a higher risk of infection if your job involves exposure to things that could cause complications.
If you suffer more serious injuries in the dog attack, you may need to spend more time out of work. A seasoned animal attack lawyer can help you calculate the value of those lost wages and how to include them as part of your dog bite claim.
3. Your suffering related to the dog attack.
Dog attacks not only cause considerable physical pain as you recover from the attack itself, they may cause mental and emotional anguish that makes it very difficult for you to manage your usual activities and lifestyle.
Some people find that a new fear of dogs interferes with many activities they consider normal. Others notice that they experience a general increase in anxiety or even depression directly related to the attack and their injuries. Talk to your dedicated Tampa attorney about the suffering you have experienced because of the dog attack and how you can include it as part of your claim.
Enlist the Help of a Tampa Dog Bite Attorney
Following any dog attack that results in injuries, working with an attorney may offer your best chance of maximizing the compensation you can recover from those injuries. At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we help our clients learn more about their right to compensation following a dog attack, then work with them to maximize that compensation.
Do not try to handle your dog attack claim on your own, especially if you have suffered severe injuries or contended with considerable suffering as a direct result of the attack. Contact us today for your free consultation with a Tampa dog bite lawyer.