Dogs make wonderful companions and amazing pets. Like all animals, however, they can be unpredictable. Under certain circumstances, they can transform from friendly pets to dangerous animals, capable of inflicting serious harm. That is why it is so essential for people who own dogs to carefully control them. Dog attacks can lead to serious, sometimes life-altering injuries for both children and adults alike. If a dog recently attacked you or someone close to you, an experienced Clearwater dog bite lawyer at Winters & Yonker can help. Contact our injury lawyers in Clearwater to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help.
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How is Liability Determined in Florida Dog Bite Cases?
In Florida, dog bites and attacks are strict liability cases. In the most basic terms, that means that the person who owns the dog is responsible for its behavior at all times. Even if the dog has never been aggressive before or if the owner didn’t know that the dog had the potential to be aggressive, they still are responsible for any damages inflicted by their pet. Anytime someone is victimized during a dog attack in Clearwater, the owner of the animal is nearly always responsible for covering any related expenses.
Pet owners often turn to the one-bite rule when putting together a defense. Basically, this rule gives dogs a get-out-of-jail-free card for their first offense when they bite someone. In the state of Florida, however, this defense is inapplicable.
Florida also has a law known as comparative negligence. In essence, this means that if you are found to be partially at fault in the dog bite case, your damages will be reduced by the amount of blame the court assigns you. That is why owners and their attorneys almost always try to make it seem like you did something to make the dog attack you. They might try to say that you were trespassing or that you somehow riled up the dog.
Dog owners may not be liable for damages if the dog bite occurs on property that they own and if they have “beware of dog” signs or comparable warnings posted. Having a qualified dog bite attorney on your side is essential. In Clearwater, dog bite cases can be tricky since the owner and their lawyer will make every effort to avoid having to pay any damages in your case. With proper legal representation, you can ensure that your rights are protected.
How Much Money Can You Seek In A Clearwater Dog Bite Case?
Several factors go into determining the value of your claim. We start by taking a look at your injuries. This includes any medical costs associated with those injuries, both now and over time. Any expenses related to your medical treatment are prioritized since they are usually quite high. It is also easy to prove that they are directly related to the attack.
These expenses can include everything from doctor’s visits and hospital bills to prescription drugs, medical supplies, and anything else related to your injuries. In a dog bite case, you can also seek damages for any income that you lost as a result of your injuries. This not only includes seeking compensation for work that you missed already but also for work that you may miss in the future if you are unable to keep working as a result of your injuries.
Dog attacks can also result in damages that don’t impact you financially. These damages, which are called noneconomic damages, are also taken into account when determining the value of your claim. These can include mental distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and the loss of your ability to enjoy life. If you were disfigured by the attack, that will also be taken into account. Losses like these often eclipse the financial impacts of the dog attack when it comes to their impact on your life.
What Types Of Injuries Are Commonly Sustained In Clearwater Dog Bite Cases?
Dog bites can result in severe injuries. Infection is a major risk if any areas where the skin was broken are not properly treated. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained in cases like these include cuts, puncture wounds, disfiguring lacerations, broken bones, and injuries to the brain or spinal cord.
After a dog attack, children often experience issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may have severe nightmares. In some cases, they may even need to have limbs amputated.
The severity of the damage sustained in a dog attack isn’t always easy to determine. With the help of a qualified dog bite attorney in Clearwater, however, you can put together a detailed claim that compensates you for all of your losses, both now and in the future.
Contact a Clearwater Dog Bite Lawyer to Review your Claim
Being attacked by a dog can be extremely traumatic. The damage inflicted during one of these attacks can change your life forever. Injuries may take a long time to heal – particularly if they are severe. If you are unable to work, you may struggle to keep up with your everyday expenses. Along with that, you have to deal with the mental and emotional impact of the attack.
As a victim, you have a right to seek compensation for your damages. Talk to a Clearwater personal injury lawyer at Winters & Yonker today to get help with your case. We offer free consultations with no strings attached. You can schedule an evaluation of your case by submitting the form on our website or by contacting our office at (727) 446– 7667.