Were you or a child bitten by a dog in New Port Richey, FL? The dog’s owner may owe you compensation for your injuries. An experienced New Port Richey dog bite lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you determine whether you’re entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Our lawyers have over 119 years handling personal injury cases. We know the law inside and out and are ready to put our skills to work for you
It’s important to take legal action quickly if you were injured. Contact our law offices in New Port Richey, Florida, to schedule your free consultation today at (727) 910-5060.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Dog Bite in New Port Richey
Dogs can bring joy to your life. On the other hand, when a dog attacks, the injuries you sustain can be devastating. You’ll need an experienced New Port Richey personal injury lawyer to help you recover fair compensation.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience helping injured clients. We’ve earned a reputation for helping our clients recover the maximum compensation possible.
Hiring our legal team means you’ll have a skilled advocate to:
- Investigate and gather evidence to support your case
- Retain experts to help put a fair value on your personal injury claim
- Defend you when the dog owner claims you provoked the dog
- Negotiate with the owner’s insurance company to secure the fair compensation you deserve
Without an experienced lawyer by your side, you risk accepting a lower settlement than you deserve. To learn more about how an experienced New Port Richey personal injury attorney can help you obtain a fair settlement, call for a free case review today.
How Common Are Dog Bites in New Port Richey, FL?
Unfortunately, dog bites are relatively common. The CDC estimates that about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. More than 800,000 of those dog bites require medical care. Each year, about 337,000 dog bite injuries are so severe that the victim visits the emergency room for medical treatment.
Florida is a great place to own a dog, but when it comes to dog bites, the Sunshine State is no exception. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Health, about 600 people in Florida are hospitalized with dog bite injuries each year.
Unfortunately, many of those victims of dog bites are children. Children between the ages of one and nine are at the highest risk of sustaining dog bite injuries in the State of Florida. Young children are also most likely to be bitten on the head or neck than adults.
What Is My New Port Richey Dog Bite Case Worth?
Every dog bite case is different. If you were attacked by a dog, our lawyers will carefully review the facts to calculate the fair value of your personal injury claim. As in car accident cases, dog bite victims have the right to be made whole again.
We’ll examine many different issues, including:
- The type and severity of the injuries you sustained
- Your medical expenses and lost wages
- Your need for future medical care, rehabilitation, and therapies
- Whether the injury caused any permanent disfigurement or disability
- Whether your future earning potential is impacted
- Whether the dog attack will cause future PTSD, fear, or mental health issues
The victim’s identity can also be relevant. Young children are often dog bite victims. The experience of being bitten by a dog can be much more terrifying for kids. That trauma can impact the child for a lifetime.
These and other issues must also be factored into the value of your personal injury claim. Putting a dollar value on the emotional impact of an attack can be extremely difficult. Our lawyers are here to help. We’ll retain top-rated experts and work tirelessly to force the insurance company to take your case seriously.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims?
Dog bite victims can seek compensation for their economic damages and non-economic damages under Florida personal injury laws. The nature of your damages award will depend on the types of losses you have suffered due to the dog bite injury.
The types of damages that you may have sustained include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Rehabilitation and reconstructive surgeries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and fear
- Loss of consortium
Our lawyers can help you document and establish the damages you’ve sustained. Call our law firm in New Port Richey to schedule a free consultation to learn more.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Dog Bite in Florida?
In cases involving negligence, Florida follows a modified comparative fault law. The shared fault law is also built into Florida dog bite laws.
If you provoked the dog, your compensation could be reduced in proportion to your share of fault. If the courts find that you were 20% responsible for your own injuries because you provoked the dog, you’re still entitled to 80% of your compensation. However, these rules eliminate your right to compensation if you were more than 50% at fault.
Our Lakeland Dog Bite Attorneys Will Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Injuries
Animal attacks often cause serious injuries. The severity of the injuries involved will depend on many factors, including the size of the victim and the size of the dog.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, our New Port Richey dog bite attorneys often represent clients who have sustained:
- Cuts and puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Eye injuries
- Facial injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Severe bleeding
- Amputations caused by infection
- Catastrophic injuries
Dog bites can also be fatal. If you’ve lost a loved one, we can help you fight for damages for wrongful death.
How Do I Prove Liability if I Was Bitten By a Dog in Florida?
Most personal injury cases are based on negligence. In dog bite cases, Florida follows a strict liability law. In most cases, you won’t have to prove the dog owner was negligent to recover damages.
Instead, under Florida law, you’ll be required to prove:
- You were on public property or lawfully on private property (you weren’t trespassing)
- The dog bit you
- You sustained injuries
You won’t have to prove that the dog owner knew about the dog’s vicious propensities to recover damages. There is also no “one bite rule” in Florida. So, you can recover compensation even if the dog has never bitten anyone or shown any aggressive tendencies in the past.
You can also recover damages if you were bitten while lawfully on the dog owner’s private property.
Defenses to Strict Liability
Strict liability laws can make it easier for dog bite victims to recover fair compensation. However, you should expect the owner to put up a fight. There are several different defenses to Florida’s strict liability dog bite law.
Dog owners cannot be held strictly liable for injuries if:
- You provoked the dog to attack
- You were trespassing at the time of the attack
- The dog owner placed a “bad dog” sign in a clear location and the victim was at least six years old
- The animal attacked but didn’t bite you
In these cases, you may still be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. You’ll have to prove that the dog owner was negligent to get the money you deserve.
Can I Recover Compensation Based on the Dog Owner’s Negligence?
Like any careless driver, a careless dog owner can be held liable for negligence.
To prove negligence, you must establish:
- The owner’s legal duty of care
- A breach of duty
- The breach of duty caused the dog to bite or allowed it to happen
- You suffered damages
There are several different ways to prove negligence.
The dog owner may have been negligent if they:
- Violated the Pasco County leash laws
- Allowed the dog to roam freely and wander off their property
- Failed to securely confine a dog that has been classified as a dangerous dog under Florida law
Our lawyers will search for evidence to establish the dog owner’s negligence. We may interview neighbors, search for evidence of past complaints and even locate eyewitnesses who can testify about what happened.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Florida?
The statute of limitations is a deadline for taking legal action after an injury. In most personal injury cases, you have two years to file a negligence lawsuit. If your claim is based on strict liability, you may have longer. After two years, you lose the right to seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact a New Port Richey Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Do you have questions about your legal rights after sustaining dog bite injuries? Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation today. An experienced New Port Richey dog bite lawyer can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.