Dog Bites / Attacks
In the U.S. over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, with nearly 1 million of those victims needing medical attention following attacks. These scary statistics are well known to Dog Bite Attorneys, who can help you recover compensation following an injury that wasn’t your fault.
Dog bites can cause not only physical injuries but also long-term damage such as scarring, trauma and phobias. If you or a loved one have been on the wrong end of a dog attack, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Your medical bills should be covered, as well as potentially missed wages and other after-effects of injuries. Dog bite cases can result in large settlements, which our clients rightfully deserve.
Personal injury attorneys McQuaid & Douglas are highly experienced with cases involving dog bites and attacks.
Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas are rich in experience in dealing with negligent canine owners. They’re both partners at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. and have been repeatedly recognized by their peers, courts and clients as premier lawyers in Personal Injury Law.
For 60 years, Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. has been recovering damages and serving victims in complex legal battles. Their exceptional legal assistance to the Tampa Bay area has included high profile, televised cases that have earned a Tier 1 Law Firm ranking by US News and World Reports.
With our free consultation service, we can answer any questions or concerns and get started on helping you cover your losses from a dog bite incident today.
Who is liable following a dog bite or attack?
- Dog owners
A Dog Attack Attorney is likely to take action against the dog’s owner. This is because Florida Law (Floride Code section 767.04) states, “The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s’ knowledge of such viciousness.”
This means a personal injury lawyer can sue the canine’s owner for the dog bite, even if they had no involvement in the attack and had no prior knowledge of aggressive behaviors from their dog.Just like a gun or a car, the owner of a dog has a responsibility to ensure that their dog will not cause harm to people.
A dog owner can be sued for ‘Intentional Torts’, if the dog attacked with the owner intending it do so. If this is the case, the attack may also be considered a crime.
- Property Owner
A property owner is also potentially liable. A landlord or business owner with a dangerous dog on their property must warn you of it. They should either tell you about it or have clear warning signs.
It is possible to sue both a dog owner and property owner following an attack. In fact, doing so increases the chance of being fully compensated for damages caused by a dog bite or attack.
If the victim provoked the dog, then these rules may change, as the attack may have been initiated due to the victim’s own negligence.
What compensation can I receive following a dog bite?
A dog attack can have long-lasting damages that are often overlooked. Here are examples of common damages which could be claimed following a dog bite:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental Trauma
- Missed wages and loss of income
- Property damage related to the incident (Such as broken eyeglasses, cell phones or a damaged motorcycle)
- Punitive damages (If the owner provoked the dog or used it as a weapon)
Typical Mental and Physical Damages Following a Dog Attack:
- Damage to vision
- Loss of fingers, ears or other body parts
- Torn ligaments
- Muscle damage
- Severe lacerations
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death
- Emotional Trauma
- Mental Anguish and Stress
Legal action against a friend or neighbor
Dog attacks can often occur when visiting a friend or neighbor that owns a dog. Naturally, you could feel anxious taking legal action against someone you are close to, or who you wouldn’t want to sue. However, it’s important to remember that in most cases, the dog or property owner is not going to personally pay the costs.
Instead, their insurance coverage will cover the costs of a dog bite claim. You have likely suffered financially, physically and mentally following a dog attack and deserve to have these losses covered.
How long do you have after a dog bite to file a suit?
In Florida, any personal injury lawsuit has a deadline called the “Statute of Limitations”. Generally, the deadline to file a negligence lawsuit related to a dog bite case is four years after the incident occurred and two years after the date of fatality, for a death.
If the deadline passes you could be barred from receiving any compensation and this is why it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible. Hiring a Dog Bite Attorney immediately after the incident helps you move the case forward and avoid any potential issues related to the Statute of Limitations.
Dog Attacks on Children
If a dog bites or attacks a child, then the injuries tend to be more severe than those on an adult. 79% of all fatal dog attacks are child deaths. 95% of these fatalities happen when a child is left alone with a dog. A puncture wound or bite damage can easily be substantial and significant, which leads to high medical bills and life-changing damage.
Attacks on children can happen easily due to their lack of experience around canines. It is estimated that half of all animal attacks in the U.S. each year are on children.
Parents who witnessed their child get attacked by a dog may also be entitled to “bystander” damages for the emotional trauma and anguish.
Why hire a Dog Bite Attorney?
It is up to you to start pursuing your claim if you’ve suffered a dog bite. But you are highly advised to not go at it alone. Insurance companies and dog owners are reluctant to admit fault and will seek to pay you as little as possible. With the help of an experienced and successful attorney, such as St Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas, you have the chance to claim the full monetary compensation you deserve.
- Higher chances of a successful claim and compensation outcome
- Removes the stress and pressure placed on you by the claim and insurance company
- You won’t have to deal with daunting insurance companies
- We know the fine details of the law, to help win your case
- We know which evidence to look for and how to preserve it
- We will thoroughly examine all the damages you have suffered, which are often overlooked
- We’ll be on your side, as your advocate from start to finish
Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas standby ready to help you get your life back on track following any personal injury claim. If you or a loved one have been a victim of a dog attack, contact us today to get started.
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