Dog Bite Lawyer Florida
Dog bites are a common type of domestic animal attack, but any attack caused by a vicious animal can be devastating and cause significant physical and emotional harm, also harm your children as well as financial losses. If you or someone you love has been attacked by an animal, you may benefit by discussing your legal options with a dog bite attorney in Florida who understands Florida’s dog bite laws.
What is The Florida Law For Dog Bites Injury Cases?
When a person owns an animal, whether that animal is a dog or an exotic pet, the owner is responsible for any harm that the animal causes. Florida is strict in terms of owner responsibility and is considered a “strict liability” state, as opposed to a state with a “one-bite” rule.
This means that dog owners can be held liable for a dog’s bite — even if the dog had never bitten before and the owners had no reason to know that the dog would bite.
Dog bites can lead to lost time from work, substantial medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and even death, especially in dog bites and animal attacks involving young children. The injuries you sustain in a dog attack can range from puncture wounds and lacerations to traumatic head and brain injuries. Other dog bite injuries include broken bones and spinal cord damage.
Our Dog Bite Attorney Florida Help To Understand Dog Bite Law
Because of dog bite laws, obtaining compensation for your injuries in an animal attack case involving a dog bite can be done either under Florida’s statute or traditional negligence rules. Contact our dog bite lawyer in Florida for more help to understand Florida dog bite laws.
What are the Personal Injury Damages For Animal Attacks in Florida?
Dog bites and other animal attacks can cause significant injuries, including disfigurement, infection, lacerations and broken bones, and brain injury among other damages. When you suffer any type of injuries arising from an animal attack, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- The cost of all medical treatment you will need, including any care that may be required after your claim is settled, such as cosmetic surgery;
- Any lost income/work you missed because of the bite;
- Future lost income that will occur if your earning capacity is reduced; and
- Damages for pain and suffering and mental distress, especially if you suffered permanent harm or disfigurement as a result of the animal attack.
The amount of these damages will be determined based on the severity of your injuries, but you must prove your damages to recover the maximum amount of compensation. When the attack leads to death, wrongful death damages may also be sought by surviving relatives of the victim.
How to Handle a Dog Bite In Florida?
For most people, a dog is a companion — they are part of our family, and we often love them like children. But unfortunately, there are those occasions where an unfamiliar dog might become aggressive with you, and go on the attack. It’s hard to believe it when a furry friend is not so friendly, but it does happen. Not only can an animal bring harm to you, but canines have been known to go after young children. Understanding how to take control of an attack, be on the defense, and find dominance in the offense may help save your life or the lives of your loved ones. Below are a few tips to help when faced with the forewarning snarl of a dog. For Legal Help contact our dog bite lawyers in Florida.
What are the Warning Signs of a Dog?
Dogs are naturally territorial. While certain breeds or specific dogs can be seen as more aggressive than others, oftentimes it’s due to their environment — a dog’s behavior is a reflection of its owner. Understanding the warning signs can help you avoid unnecessary pain and turmoil. Here is a list of common warning signs:
- Growling, snarling, or display of teeth in an aggressive manner
- Seeing the whites of a dog’s eyes – if not usually visual, seeing the whites of a canine’s eyes means that they are alert and on the offense
- Pulled-back ears that lay flat against the animal’s head. Much like the raised hair of a cat, this shows that the dog is tense, and is ready to take action if necessary.
How does a Dog Bite or Attack happen?
Dog attacks usually occur due to improper training or wrongful care. While getting rid of horrible dog owners would be extremely appealing to most, there will always be bad dog owners and poorly trained dogs. Being on the defense around a new animal is always a good idea, as you never know how it will react to you. Furthermore, you should never purposefully agitate an animal.
- Never approach a canine when it’s eating, or a female dog that is carrying pups. In these situations, dogs are extremely protective and may see the slightest, non-aggressive approach as a mark of antagonism.
- Smiling may seem like a way of showing the dog that you mean no harm and are friendly — but remember that canines reveal their teeth when they are ready for a fight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 percent of all dog bite cases require some form of medical treatment. Dog bite attacks can happen to anyone and anywhere. You can be attacked at someone’s home, at a public park, on the way to work, or while out on a walk. Dog bites are especially common in areas where animals come into proximity to people they do not recognize.
Dog attacks can be highly traumatic experiences that can lead to pain, injury, and emotional distress. The law requires dog owners, dog walkers, and anyone else formally tasked with caring for or handling a dog to do so with due care and while following safe handling procedures. If they fail to do so, this might lead to injuries or damages to an innocent victim. In that case, a dog owner, walker, or another responsible party may be held liable for the victim’s damages.
Handling a dog bite injury case often requires understanding personal injury law, how injuries are evaluated, and what kinds of evidence may be used to support your claim or lawsuit. A Florida dog bite lawyer may be able to assist you with your case.
Ward off a Dog Attack
If for some reason a dog is agitated with you, they might go in for the attack. It’s at this time that you should go on the defense. If a dog approaches you, try to remain motionless, and do not make eye contact. Doing so will alert the dog that you’re trying to avoid conflict. Running or moving around may be depicted as hostile, and could cause the dog to take action, and lunge.
How to Protect Me in Dog Bite in Florida?
Protecting yourself may be as simple as giving an angry dog something else to take a bite out of. Distracting the dog with a chew toy, stick, or anything of interest may give the pooch a healthy alternative to release aggression. It’s not even a bad idea to carry dog toys/treats with you when traveling to unfamiliar areas.
If you’re fresh out of treats and the dogs are only becoming more aggressive, it’s now time to show dominance. Talking in a stern, commanding voice, try to tell the dog to “Go,” or “back away”. This action may intimidate the dog, and discourage it from harming you.
For legal Help Call The Dog Bite Lawyer Florida
If it seems like an attack is inevitable, it’s time you defend yourself. Hitting or kicking the dog in the nose, throat, or head to disorientate it may give you some time to escape the attack. Yelling for help is okay to do at this time, and using your body weight to pin down the dog until help gets there/stops it from biting you. Using your knees and elbows will add pressure to the dog. Straddling the dog with partial body weight and applying forward pressure to its neck is a more humane approach to take. Hurting the dog is not the intention here, but saving yourself is.
How to Keep Children Safe From Dog Bites in Florida?
Every year over 600 Florida residents are hospitalized as a result of dog bites/attacks. Children between the ages of 1 and 9 have the highest likelihood of being attacked by dogs with their size making it easier for them to be bitten in the head or neck.
Kids love to play with dogs, but might not know what they are doing can be dangerous. Before the next time, you take your kids out to a park or any other place where they might encounter strange dogs, go over this list from the Florida Disease Control and Health Protection with them.
Safety tips for adults and children in a dog bite in Florida:
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Never run from a dog and never scream around a dog.
- If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
- If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball, cover your face, and stay still.
- Children should never approach or play with dogs unless supervised by an adult.
- Children should tell an adult if they see a stray dog or a dog acting strangely.
- Don’t look a dog right in the eyes.
- Don’t disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Adults should never leave an infant or young child alone with any dog, not even the family pet
Our Florida Dog Bite Lawyers Near me Help to Get your Dog Bite Claim
If you or your child is a victim of a dog attack in Florida, it is important to clean the bite area with soap and water right away to reduce the risk of infection. Medical care should be sought as required to ensure all vaccinations are up to date as well. When your health is assured, contact an experienced dog bite attorney in Florida at the law offices of Wolf & Pravato so we can help in your dog bite claim and get you what you deserve.
How do Florida Dog Bite Attorneys Protect my Legal Rights in Dog Bite Injury?
After attending to your wounds, calling the authorities is a necessary step. There is a possibility that others can be injured by the canine, especially if it’s a stray. Likewise, seeking medical attention may be essential. Who knows what types of diseases the animal might be caring for? Getting yourself checked out could save you from a lot of unexpected health issues.
If the dog is not a stray then the dog’s owners are liable to take responsibility for their animal’s actions. If you or someone you know has been attacked by a dog and are seeking legal advice, contact the dog bite attorney Florida from Wolf & Pravato at (833) 704-4878.
You Need To Get Help From a Dog Bite Attorney in Florida to Determine Damages
The Law Office Of Wolf & Pravato can assist you in determining what damages the Florida dog bite law entitles you. Our Florida personal injury lawyer serves all South Florida residents including those in the West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, and Fort Lauderdale areas.
Our Florida dog bite lawyer near me team will aim to help you either settle the case outside of court, most often with the owner’s homeowner’s insurance company or to take the claim to court to prove liability and damages and be responsible for handling your dog bite case.
Our team understands how traumatic a dog bite case can be, especially if they involve friends, family, neighbors, or others you know. Irrespective of how your dog bite attack occurred, we are here to help you understand your rights and seek any compensation that you might be entitled to receive by law. Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation to determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim.
Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers in Florida
Call the personal injury lawyer Florida from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270 for assistance with your dog bite injury case. It is recommended that you act quickly after your dog bite. Doing so can preserve evidence that may get lost or forgotten over time, such as health records, lost wages, incidental expenses, and other expenses or damages you suffered because of the dog attack.
FAQs Dog Bite Lawyer
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite Injury in Florida?
Yes. Dog bites are a form of personal injury. If you were attacked by a dog and did not provoke the dog, you may be able to sue the dog owner or handler for damages if they are known. If you were on private property as a guest or employee when you were attacked, you may be able to sue the property owner. However, if you were trespassing on private property, you might not be able to sue for damages.
What Happens if Your Dog Bites Someone in Florida?
In Florida, you can be sued if your dog bites someone for no apparent reason. If an unprovoked animal attacks an innocent victim who was not committing a crime on your property, you can be sued. Some states give dog owners one “strike” if they are unaware that their dog may be dangerous. However, in Florida, you can be sued for the first attack that your dog commits.
Are Doctors Required to Report Dog Bite Injuries in Florida?
Yes, animal exposures involving a known, suspected, or possibly rabid animal must be reported to the local county health office, according to the Florida Department of Health. An animal cannot be ruled out as potentially rabid until the Department of Health completely investigates the bite and conclusively finds that the animal does not carry rabies or other communicable diseases.
How Long Do You Have to Report a Dog Bite Injury in Florida?
According to the Florida Statutes § 95.11, you generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit for a dog bite injury in Florida. As per the Florida Statutes § 767.04, you can seek damages for a dog bite if you were lawfully on a property and are bitten by a dog. An exception is if there was a sign with the words “bad dog” clearly posted, or the victim was under the age of six.