West Palm Beach Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
A dog bite lawyer in Palm Beach County can explain your legal alternatives and seek compensation for your injuries. Dog bites are frequently accompanied by significant physical and psychological damage.
Besides offering legal advice and guidance, hiring a top personal injury attorney can offer several benefits for a dog bite case. An attorney can negotiate a proper settlement amount on your behalf using their experience in the field, their knowledge of typical settlement amounts, and their negotiation skills.
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There is no such thing as a "human-aggressive" breed of dogs. It's typically the family pet that everyone adores that bites someone. Clearly, the family dog isn't naturally an aggressive canine. According to the American Kennel Club, these are the most prevalent reasons why dogs bite people:
- Fear or anxiety - Dogs that feel threatened might show aggression if something or someone approaches them, or enters their area.
- Being startled - Dogs may bite if they are startled, this occurs when a guest attempts to pet them or kiss them while they are sleeping.
- Guarding or protecting - a dog may bite if a person approaches their feeding bowl. Man's best friend may attack if a stranger approaches their owner or enters their property.
- Frustration - Dogs may become frustrated if they are unable to obtain something they desire because they are being restrained by their owner or leash. Dogs are known to redirect their aggression to whatever is closest.
- Pain or Sickness - A sick or wounded dog may bite if you approach them or if you attempt to lift or carry an injured dog.
- Playing - Mouthing, or biting occurs when a dog is playing. Light biting is common when dogs are playing. A dog playing too rough may puncture the skin of their owner or a guest.
Although, when seeking for a reason or explanation for a dog's attack, we do our best to find one, sometimes it is an unexplained event. If another person's dog attacks you and causes injury, you should contact a Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer to help you file an insurance claim against the owner.
Dog Bite Statistics
Dog bites are a major public-health and societal issue. Every year, in the United States, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs, with more than 800,000 of them visiting a hospital for care, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At least half of all bites occur on children. The following are additional dog bite statistics:
- Bites are one of the most prevalent types of animal injuries. One in five people who have been bitten by dogs require medical attention.
- Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
- During familiar interactions with dogs, during ordinary activities, and while interacting with family pets, children suffer from dog bites that can be very dangerous.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
If you have been harmed by a dog bite, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your losses. Damages might include:
- Medical bills - You may be able to get compensated for your medical expenses, including hospitalization and surgery, as well as medicine.
- Lost wages - If you were unable to work as a result of your injuries, you may be able to recoup lost earnings.
- Pain and suffering - You could be eligible for compensation for your injuries' physical and emotional suffering.
- Punitive damages - In some circumstances, the court may order punitive damages. Punitive money is meant to punish the dog owner for their actions.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
A dog bite might result in a variety of injuries. The following are examples of some of the most frequent ailments caused by a dog bite:
- Puncture wounds - Puncture wounds are scars caused by the teeth of a dog biting through the skin. Puncture wounds can be quite significant, and they may damage nerves, tendons, and bones as well.
- Infections - Dog bites are a source of infection in many patients. Bacteria from the dog's mouth might enter the wound and cause an infection. Antibiotics may be required or even admission to the hospital for infections.
- Scarring - Dog bites frequently result in scarring. Permanent scars are possible, particularly if the damage was to the face or neck.
- Emotional trauma - Biting dogs can also induce emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims might have nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety.
What Is Florida's Dog Bite Statute?
The owner of a dog, regardless of whether the owner knows or should have known about the animal's aggressive disposition, is strictly liable for any injuries caused by that dog in Florida. This implies that if a person is injured by a dog in Florida, the owner must compensate the victim unless he was trespassing or provoking the animal.
To avoid incurring financial responsibility, dog owners must take precautions to keep their pets from biting, such as restraining and monitoring them.
If you were hurt by a dog bite in Florida and have suffered medical expenses, missed income, or pain and suffering, you may be able to get compensation. An expert personal injury lawyer can assist you in comprehending your legal rights and choices.
How Do I File a Dog Bite Claim?
If attacked by a dog and bitten, you may be eligible for compensation. In order to collect compensation for your injuries, you must file a dog bite insurance claim. To file a successful personal injury claim follow the steps below:
Step 1: Report The Incident And Seek Medical Attention
- Call animal control or the police immediately
- Assist them in their investigation
- Acquire the owners name, address and any insurance information they can provide
Step 2: Gathering Evidence
- Take pictures at the incident scene, the dog, and your injuries
- Note the date, time and location of the attack
- Ask witnesses for their name, telephone number and email
- Proof of rabies vaccination
- Prior history of any dog bites
- Prior notice regarding the dog not being secured/ gated/ running lose or any prior attacks of animals
Step 3: Contact Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have been injured in a dog attack, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve. A top rated dog bite injury lawyer will investigate the attack, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. By hiring a qualified lawyer, you will increase your chances of getting a fair settlement for your injuries.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a lawyer to represent you. First, make sure the lawyer you hire specializes in dog bite cases. This will ensure that your lawyer has the knowledge and experience necessary to get you the best possible settlement. Second, ask for referrals from friends or family members who have been in similar situations. This will help you find a lawyer who has a good reputation and who is likely to get you a fair settlement. Finally, make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer you choose. You should feel like you can trust your lawyer and that he or she has your best interests at heart.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Dog Bite in Florida?
The average settlement for a dog bite in Florida will be determined by the extent of the victim's injuries. Medical treatment, lost income, and the emotional consequences of the injury are examples of factors that might influence compensation amounts. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining what your case is worth and lobbying for all necessary compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, a dog bite victim has four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. This implies that if you have been harmed by a dog bite, you have four years from the date of the accident to bring a claim. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time period, you will be barred from receiving compensation.
How Long Does a Dog Bite Claim or Lawsuit Take in Florida?
The length of time it takes to resolve a dog bite claim or lawsuit in Florida is determined by the severity of the victim's injuries and the insurance company's willingness to negotiate a fair settlement, depending on whether there is insurance coverage. The majority of homeowner policies do not cover dog bites. Claims may be settled in as little as a few months in some circumstances. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, though, the case may take longer to settle because a lawsuit will be filed.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Dog Bite Attorney in Florida?
The Law Office of Roger P. Foley handles cases regarding dog bites on a contingency basis, which means you will not be responsible for any attorney's fees unless we win compensation for your injuries. The contingency fee rate is determined based on the specifics of your case.
How Does Comparative Negligence Apply To My Dog Bite Case in Florida?
Florida's comparative negligence law applies to dog bites. This implies that if the victim is found to share 20% responsibility for the accident, their compensation will be reduced by that amount. For example, if the victim is held responsible for 20%, their losses would be reduced by 20%.
The defendant may also try to establish comparative negligence by proving that the victim was aware of the dog's hazardous tendencies and took no precautions to protect herself or others from possible injury. Furthermore, at the time of the incident, the victim must have been on the defendant's property without permission.
What Are Some Common Defenses to Dog Bite Claims in Florida?
Some common defenses to dog bite claims in Florida include:
- The dog's owner was in the right to defend himself against a trespassing or provoking intruder.
- The owner took reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from biting, for example, posting a bad dog sign
- The victim knew or should have known about the dog's aggressive tendencies
- The victim was injured by a different animal
Do I Have To Prove The Dog Owner Was Negligent If I Was Bitten By Their dog?
No. Negligence is not required to be proven. If you were bitten by a dog in Florida, you may be successful in filing a claim against the owner even if you cannot prove that they were negligent. This is because Florida has what is known as a "strict liability" law when it comes to dog bites. This means that the dog's owner can be held liable for your injuries even if they did not do anything wrong and even if the dog had never bitten anyone before.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however. For example, if you were trespassing on the property where the dog lives or if you provoked the dog, then you may not be successful in your claim.
To be successful in a dog bite claim, you will need to gather evidence to support your case. This may include witness statements, medical records, and photographs of your injuries. Our personal injury attorney(s) can help you build a strong case and get the compensation you deserve.
Victims may also file a claim for compensation under common law principles:
- Negligence – An owner may be found negligent if they failed to provide a level of care similar to how another reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances.
- Negligence per se – If an owner is found to have violated laws or rules put in place for the protection and security of the general public, they may be held responsible.
- Scienter – The “one bite rule” states that any person who has knowledge of a dog's previous attack record or attempted bites can be held liable for damages.
- Intentional tort – In certain instances, such as when a person wants their dog to attack someone, a claim, such as battery, may be filed.
Should a Dog Bite Be Reported to Authorities?
Florida law requires that all dog bites be reported to the local authorities. This is to ensure that the proper precautions are taken to protect the public from dangerous dogs. If you have been bitten by a dog, you should report the incident to animal control as soon as possible. Include as much information as you can about the dog and the attack, including the name and contact information of any witnesses. An animal control officer has better training and experience than local law enforcement in taking control of the dog. Call animal control first, they have the proper gear to safely take hold of the animal as required by law. They will also be able to investigate the incident and determine if the dog is a danger to the public.
What if the Dog Owner Refuses to Cooperate?
If the owner of the dog refuses to cooperate with animal control, you may need to contact law enforcement. In some cases, the owner may be cited for failing to comply with the county's leash laws or other ordinances. The owner may also be charged with a crime if the dog bite resulted in serious injury or death.
Florida has a specific statutory provision that is meant to protect Floridians from dogs that are known to be dangerous. The Florida dangerous dog statute provides that owners of a “dangerous dog” must take certain safety precautions with the animal to avoid dog bites.
What to Do After a Dog Bite?
If you have been bitten by a dog, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to have them evaluated by a doctor. Some dog bites can result in infections that may require antibiotics or even hospitalization.
After you have been seen by a doctor, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can investigate the incident to gather evidence to support your claim.
You should also report the incident to animal control and cooperate with their investigation. Animal control will likely take steps to ensure that the dog does not pose a danger to the public. Animal control is responsible for investigating reports of animal bites and enforcing the Florida Statutes related to animal bites.The police may become involved in animal bite cases if the animal is a danger to the public or if the bite occurred during the commission of a crime.
How Can I Protect Myself From a Dog Bite?
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from a dog bite, including:
- Avoiding dogs that you do not know: Dogs that are not familiar with you may be more likely to bite. If you see a dog that you do not know, it is best to avoid it.
- Asking permission before petting a dog: You should always ask the owner's permission before petting a dog. This will help you avoid surprising or startling the dog.
- Respecting a dog's personal space: Dogs need personal space just like humans do. Respect a dog's personal space and do not approach it if it does not want to be approached.
- Supervising children around dogs: Children are often the victims of dog bites. It is important to supervise children around dogs and teach them how to interact with animals safely.
- Being cautious around aggressive dogs: If you see a dog that is acting aggressively, it is important to be cautious. Do not approach the dog and try to keep a safe distance.
Can I Get Rabies If Bitten By a Dog in West Palm Beach?
It's possible but highly unlikely. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is a serious disease that can be deadly in both humans and animals. In the United States, rabies is most commonly found in wild animals. However, the CDC notes that dogs can acquire rabies. The odds are slim that you will contract rabies from a dog. In the last 21 years, there have only been 28 dogs that have contracted rabies in all of Florida. Meaning, that in the year 2022, it is highly unlikely that a dog bite will cause rabies.
Rabies is transmitted through saliva, normally a bite. The virus travels via the nervous system to the brain, where it causes inflammation of the brain. A positive rabies test of a human will result in death. There is no cure. However, receiving a rabies vaccination within 24 hours of the bite will save the person's life 99% of the time.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you may be compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering. We are here to help. "Call Me "Roger P Foley and I will be your voice during settlement negotiations with the insurance company or in the courtroom before a jury.
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