Dog bites can be catastrophic. if you’ve been attacked by a dog in St. Petersburg, Florida. Our St. Petersburg dog bite lawyers can help you fight to recover compensation from the dog’s owner and other responsible parties. Make Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers your first call. Give us a call at (727) 314-5988.
Since 2001, we’ve helped victims of vicious dog and animal attacks stand up, tell their stories, and make their voices heard. Our award-winning Florida trial lawyers have 119+ years of combined experience, and together we’ve won millions on behalf of clients like you for their St. Petersburg catastrophic injuries, premises liability cases, pedestrian accidents, negligent security cases in St. Petersburg, worker’s compensation cases, and more.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Don’t let the dog’s owner off the hook for the trauma you’ve endured. Contact our St. Petersburg law office to arrange a free consultation to discover how we can help you fight to make things right.
How Our St. Petersburg Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help if You’ve Been Bitten By a Dog
When you’re bitten by a dog in Florida, the consequences can last a lifetime. Often, dog bites happen because owners fail to take appropriate care of their animals. Other times, property owners, landlords, and other parties can share responsibility for a dog’s harmful actions.
The dog’s owner (and other liable parties) must be held accountable – and our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers are here to make that a reality for you.
As experienced and respected litigators, we know the challenges you’ll face on your road to recovery. We know that the dog’s owner will try to say you provoked the animal or downplay the extent of your injuries. Our law firm is ready to take a stand, invest our resources, and fight to make sure that you are justly compensated for the full extent of the trauma you’ve experienced.
While you focus on getting better, our St. Petersburg dog bite attorneys will:
- Determine if the dog has a history of aggression or viciousness
- Identify how the dog bite or attack could have been avoided
- Gather evidence to build your case, including medical records, clothing, photographs, police reports, witness statements, and expert testimony
- Prepare to defend against any allegations that you share fault for your dog bite injury
- Enter settlement negotiations with the facts, evidence, and persuasive arguments needed to obtain a fair deal
- Prepare to bring your dog bite case to a jury in Pinellas County, if necessary
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team works on a contingency fee basis. You pay absolutely nothing upfront to get our respected law firm to fight for you. We only get paid if we win or settle your dog bite injury case.
We also offer a free consultation, which gives you the opportunity to learn about our lawyers and discover why you’ll want us to fight for you. Call our personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg to arrange a time for yours today.
Are Dog Bites Common in Florida?
According to the Florida Department of Health, roughly 600 people are injured in dog attacks annually. At least two Floridians die due to the severity of their dog bite injuries.
Many of these victims are children. In fact, children between the ages of 6 and 14 are most likely to suffer dog bite injuries in Florida.
Does Florida Have a One-Bite Rule?
When it comes to dog bite cases, Florida does not have a one-bite rule. Dog owners are liable if their dog bites another person, regardless of that dog’s history.
It doesn’t matter if the dog has never shown a tendency for aggression or bitten anyone in the past. When a dog bites a person who is on the premises lawfully, the owner is on the hook for damages.
How Does Comparative Fault Affect St. Petersburg Dog Bite Injury Claims?
Florida’s dog bite statute provides that a dog’s owner is strictly liable if a dog bites another person.
However, it continues on to state that “any negligence on the part of the person bitten that is a proximate cause of the biting incident reduces the liability of the owner of the dog by the percentage that the bitten person’s negligence contributed to the biting incident.”
Simply put, if your own negligence or actions contribute to the dog bite, your damages will be reduced.
Florida operates under a modified comparative negligence system. The only bar to recovery is being 51 percent fault (i.e., mostly responsible for the dog bite). So, you can recover compensation even if you’re 50 percent or less responsible for a dog bite injury. However, your financial recovery will be reduced in direct proportion to your degree of fault.
If you’re 50 percent responsible for a dog bite, your damages would be cut in half.
Be ready for the dog’s owner to point fingers, shift blame, and say that you provoked the animal or put yourself in harm’s way. If you don’t fight back against these allegations, you could watch well-deserved compensation slip away.
Our St. Petersburg dog bite attorneys will be ready to defend against these types of strategies. We’ll evaluate the situation, gather evidence to counter these arguments, and work to dismantle claims of shared fault before they can make an impact.
What’s My Dog Bite Injury Case Worth?
No two dog bites are the same. It follows that no two dog bite injury cases are the same, either. Many factors will dictate the amount of money you might be able to recover in a related claim for damages.
- The size and breed of the dog
- The location of the injury
- The type and severity of the dog bite injury
- Your ability to continue working
- How your earning capacity has changed since you were bitten by the dog
- Whether the dog bite caused permanent impairment, disfigurement, or disability
- Your age
- The extent to which you’ve experienced emotional or psychological trauma
- Steps you took to mitigate the dog bite injury
The more your life changes after you’re bitten by a dog, the more you can generally expect to recover in a dog bite injury lawsuit.
Don’t underestimate what your case might be worth. Reach out to the experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, to discuss the specifics of your dog bite injury case today.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs are powerful animals, and their bites can pack a punch. This is particularly true for young children and elderly victims.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent dog bite injury victims who have suffered:
- Puncture wounds
- Soft tissue damage
- Cuts and lacerations
- Infection and disease
- Vision and hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back and neck injury
- Nerve damage
- Catastrophic injury
In some instances, dog bites can be fatal. Our wrongful death attorneys in St. Petersburg will be here if your family has suffered the devastating loss of someone you love because of a dog bite.
What Damages are Available to Florida Dog Bite Victims?
Both economic damages and non-economic damages can’t be awarded to dog bite victims in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Economic damages are paid to make dog bite victims financially whole.
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Medical devices and equipment
- Lost wages
- Lost her job opportunities
- Nursing assistance
While physical wounds may heal over time, the emotional scars of a dog bite can last a lifetime. Non-economic damages are awarded to make up for these types of losses that don’t have a standard financial value.
- Chronic physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Depression and anxiety
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages can also be awarded if there is clear and convincing evidence that the dog’s owner displayed a conscious disregard for your safety or intentionally instructed the dog to bite you.
How Long Do I Have To File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in St. Petersburg, Florida?
Florida law provides a two-year statute of limitations for dog bite injury lawsuits. You may have longer under some circumstances, such as if your claim is based on strict liability.
If a dog bite is fatal, families also have two years to file a wrongful death action against the dog’s owner and other liable parties.
While there may be limited exceptions to this rule, you do not want to allow the statute of limitations to run out. Once the deadline passes, you will have given up the opportunity to recover the compensation you need and deserve on your road to recovery.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced St. Petersburg Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
Were you or your child recently bitten by a dog in St. Petersburg, Florida? Do not hesitate to reach out to the respected legal team at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for immediate assistance. The dog’s owner should be held legally accountable for the harm you’ve suffered, and our St. Petersburg dog bite lawyers are ready to help you maximize your recovery.
We provide a free initial case evaluation to all prospective clients. Call our St. Petersburg law office to set up a time to discuss the details of your dog bite injury case today.
Our personal injury law firm in St. Petersburg, FL also provides:
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