Were you or a child injured by a dog in Clearwater, FL? You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering under Florida’s dog bite laws. An experienced Clearwater dog bite lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you maximize your financial recovery.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 119 years of experience in personal injury law. We’ve helped countless clients like you get back on their feet again after an injury.
Don’t hesitate to contact our law office in Clearwater, Florida, by calling us at (727) 493-4418 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about legal representation today.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Dog Bite in Clearwater
After suffering the trauma of a dog attack, you could be left fighting an uncaring insurance company for compensation. Make no mistake–the insurance company is out to pay the minimum compensation possible.
An experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer can help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Our Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers have been negotiating top-dollar settlements for injured clients since we opened our doors back in 2001. We have the proven track record of success that you want in your corner.
When you choose our team to represent you, we will:
- Provide sound legal guidance at every turn
- Conduct our own investigation to gather evidence and prove liability
- Determine who may be legally responsible for paying your damages
- Identify all sources of insurance coverage
- Handle all paperwork and communications with the insurance companies
- Calculate your case value and negotiate to recover the most compensation possible
We’re passionate about holding careless and reckless people responsible for their actions. If you or a child are struggling with painful dog bite injuries, we’ll do whatever it takes to help you recover the money you need. All you have to do is call to get started today.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Clearwater?
When dog owners are careless, their animals can cause serious injuries. Every year, the CDC estimates that about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. About 800,000 of those dog bite injuries are so serious that the victim requires medical care or visits the emergency room.
Of course, some dog breeds are more likely to bite than others, including:
- English Bulldog
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- Bull Terrier
According to the Florida Department of Health, about 600 people in Florida are hospitalized with dog bite injuries every year. Unfortunately, kids between the ages of one and nine are at the highest risk of being bitten by a dog in Florida.
What Is My Clearwater Dog Bite Case Worth?
Assessing the value of a personal injury case can be a difficult task. Some damages, such as your medical bills and lost income, are easy to prove. Others are much more difficult.
Our lawyers will assess all relevant factors when determining how much compensation you deserve, including:
- The nature of your injuries
- The cost of your medical treatment
- The length of your recovery
- How the injury impacts your work
- How the injury changed your lifestyle
- Your emotional distress and physical pain
- Whether you’ll suffer any permanent damage
In cases that are especially complicated, we may even hire expert witnesses who can testify about the value of your case.
What Types of Damages Are Available To Dog Bite Victims in Clearwater?
A serious dog bite injury can haunt you for years to come. Fortunately, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the responsible parties. Dog bite victims in the state of Florida are entitled to recover compensation for their economic and non-economic damages.
Examples of the types of losses you may have sustained include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgeries
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
Our lawyers have the resources to help you recover the fair compensation you deserve. To learn more about getting the legal advice you need, call our lawyers for a free case review today.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Dog Bite in Florida?
Careless parties rarely want to take responsibility for their actions. One common defense in dog bite cases is that the victim provoked the dog and caused the attack.
Under the pure comparative fault laws in Florida, injured parties can recover partial compensation if they’re partly responsible for their own injuries. Under Florida law, that’s true even if you were mostly responsible for the attack.
For example, if the insurance company can prove that you were 40% at fault for the attack, your compensation will be reduced by 40%. You’re still entitled to take home 60% of your compensation.
The shared fault rule is also relevant in dog bite cases that are based on strict liability. If you played a role in causing the dog bite and the insurance company can prove it, your settlement or verdict will be reduced accordingly.
Contributory fault can quickly complicate your case. Our lawyers can defend you if you’re being blamed for your injuries. Just give us a quick call to schedule a free consultation today.
We’ll Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Depending on the dog’s size and the nature of the dog attack, victims of dog bite injuries can suffer significant injuries.
Our lawyers handle all types of dog bite injury claims, including cases where the victim has suffered:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage, including damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial injuries
- Organ damage
- Amputations, which can be caused by infection
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
It’s always important to see a doctor if you or a child were bitten by a dog. Dog bite wounds can easily become infected and cause much more extensive damage. Once you’ve received treatment, our lawyers can start evaluating your legal claim.
How Do I Establish Liability If I Was Bitten By a Dog in Florida?
Unlike other states, Florida doesn’t have a one-bite rule. Dog owners can be held financially responsible for damages even if the dog has never bitten anyone in the past.
Instead of proving that the owner knew the dog was vicious, you’ll have to prove the following:
- The dog bit you
- You were lawfully present on private property or public property at the time of the dog bite
The Florida dog bite law is a strict liability law. You won’t have to establish negligence to recover damages in most cases. However, that doesn’t mean that the dog owner doesn’t have any available defenses.
Possible defenses that the dog owner may assert include:
- The dog owner put up a “bad dog” sign in a conspicuous location, and the victim was at least six years old
- The victim was trespassing at the time of the dog bite
- The victim provoked the animal
Even if one of these defenses is valid, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Our lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you gather the evidence you’ll need to prove your case. To learn more about your legal options, call our Clearwater dog bite attorneys to schedule a free consultation today.
Dog Bite Cases Based on Negligence
If strict liability laws don’t apply in your case, you may be entitled to recover compensation based on negligence. For example, you may be required to prove negligence if the dog attacked you but didn’t actually bite. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances.
For example, a dog owner may have been negligent if they:
- Allowed the dog to roam the neighborhood freely
- Failed to keep the dog confined in a secure area
- Violated the local leash laws in Pinellas County
- Failed to post adequate warnings if the dog was classified as a dangerous dog
Owners of dangerous dogs are required to take additional precautions to keep others safe. They can even be subject to criminal penalties if they fail to take adequate precautions and someone gets hurt.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Florida?
The statute of limitations in Florida gives dog bite victims four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. While there are exceptions to the rule, they are few and far between.
If you were injured and have questions about your legal rights, call our law firm in Clearwater to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Contact a Clearwater Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
It never hurts to speak with an experienced attorney after sustaining an injury. If you or your child were bitten by someone else’s dog, our lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help.
Just give us a quick call to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Clearwater dog bite lawyer today.
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