Every year, more than four million people in America become victims of dog bites and attacks and end up suing for dog bites. If you, or someone you love, suffers a dog bite and you believe the owner is liable for the injury, a Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer may be able to help you get the compensation that you may be entitled from either the owner or the owner’s insurance carrier. At Winters & Yonker, our attorneys are here to provide you with expert legal representation and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Dog bites are the cause of nearly $500 million in damages yearly. Costly medical bills, time spent in the hospital, and time missed from work are common sources of financial strain for dog bite victims. A lawyer can help those who suffer from permanent scars and disfigurement require multiple surgical procedures to correct, and those that may end up living with emotional issues like PTSD.
If you find yourself in this kind of position, don’t you deserve to be fully compensated for your damages? Don’t you also deserve to have the chance to return to as normal a life as possible? The injury lawyers in Tampa at Winters & Yonker can help you get the compensation you deserve. Let us help you navigate Florida’s complex legal system and get you all the money you need and deserve. For personal one-to-one help from an attorney call now. Get answers to all of your questions following a dog bite injury including:
- Do Florida dog bite laws allow me to collect for my injury?
- Who was responsible for the dog bite?
- How can working with a qualified dog bite attorney help me?
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How do Attorneys Prove Negligence in Dog Bite Claims?
Make no mistake about it: you are absolutely entitled under Florida law to collect compensation based on a dog owner’s negligence. The burden of proving negligence, however, falls on you, the victim. You are required by law to prove that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. There are a number of legal arguments that can be made to prove that the owner was responsible and should, therefore, be required to cover your losses.
In a large number of cases, dogs exhibit aggressive behaviors. These behaviors ought to serve as warnings to the owner that aggressiveness toward strangers (or just people in general) is possible or probable. If you can prove the following, you likely have a case:
- The owner knew or should have known the possible actions of the dog based on the animal’s temperament
- The owner neglected to take appropriate steps to protect you
- You were injured as a result of the owner’s negligence
A dangerous, aggressive, temperamental dog is like a loaded gun, especially when it is allowed access to people other than the owner. If an owner fails to adequately tether the dog and keep you out of harm’s way, the results can be catastrophic, especially for a young child bitten by a dog.
It is next to impossible for an injured person to sort through all the legal details and insurance companies bank on their ability to convince you that they know best how to reach a proper settlement. Before you agree to anything, call us. Choose a Winters & Yonker personal injury lawyer in Tampa. They are trusted by Tampa residents to settle even the toughest dog bite cases and will give you the help and advice you need to win your case.
When is the Owner Responsible for Dog Bites?
In the vast majority of dog bite cases, action in the case is taken against the owner. The degree of owner liability varies from case to case. In most, the dog’s owner is responsible for its actions irrespective of whether they had any prior knowledge that the dog could be aggressive.
There are, however, exceptions to the rule. Taking legal action against all liable parties increases your chance of being fully compensated for all your damages. There are times when some other person or entity is found to be responsible for your injuries. When a dog attack happens on a rental property, for example, the landlord could be among those held liable if it can be proved that he or she knew that a dangerous dog was residing on the premises. It is no different than knowing about any other kind of hazard and not taking appropriate steps to fix the problem.
Who Covers the Cost of a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Depending on certain details, homeowners’ policies almost always cover dog bites. Dog bites are sometimes even covered under automobile policies if the injury was sustained inside the owner’s car, truck, or another vehicle. Florida pet owners also have the option to purchase a separate animal insurance policy to protect from liability in the event of a dog bite.
The Owner’s Insurance Company
Some people feel uneasy about suing a neighbor, friend, or landlord because they fear that doing so will make it difficult to peacefully coexist. Please keep in mind that when you bring a dog bite claim, the individual is rarely personally responsible for paying you. Homeowners, renters, and property insurance policies can all include coverage for these kinds of situations if elected by the policy buyer. Our focus is not on the individual, but on the insurance company responsible for paying you.
Do not hesitate to take legal action when you are injured by someone else’s dog, even if it belongs to a friend or neighbor. You likely have numerous costs to cover, are losing much-needed wages, and more. Don’t feel like you cannot take action against a friend. The judgment rarely reflects poorly on the individual and almost never causes an individual personal hardship.
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Contact our Aggressive Attorneys at Winters & Yonker
If the dog’s owner does not have the insurance coverage necessary to pay your expenses after a dog bite, it may be necessary to bring a complaint against the owner in an effort to collect compensation. It may feel a little uncomfortable, but sometimes, it is just necessary. You can trust Winters & Yonker to deal respectfully and fairly with the owner and work out a settlement that allows you to maintain good relations over time.
If the dog’s owner state that he or she does not carry appropriate coverage or is unwilling to provide you with the details of their policy, the necessary documents can be obtained by us as part of the discovery phase of the case. This is where both parties’ attorneys divulge and share information pertinent to the accident and resulting injury.
What if I’m Bitten by a Dog at Work?
Mail carriers, delivery personnel, and other types of workers whose jobs require them to be on private property or enter people’s homes to do their jobs are there under “implied invitation” according to Florida law. Any worker who finds him or herself legally on another’s premises to perform a job or service and gets bitten by a dog has the legal right to submit a claim for workers’ compensation insurance benefits.
Workers’ comp provides medical expenses and wage replacement for employees who become injured on the job. When an employee is bitten by a dog while at work, he or she may even have a separate claim against the owner on top of receiving workers’ comp. Third-party claims provide injured employees with additional compensation for their pain and suffering as well as other damages and losses not recognized or covered under workers’ compensation.
What Damages Will a Dog Bite Claim in Florida Cover?
Get expert legal advice from a lawyer. Tampa residents have turned to for years for help collecting damages on a dog bite case. Call Winters & Yonker today to find out if you are entitled to collect damages for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Physical Therapy
- Emotional distress
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic conditions
- Any other damages related to the incident
With our many years of collective experience handling dog bite cases throughout the state of Florida, our attorneys have seen the sometimes devastating emotional, financial and physical, effects of dog bite injuries on victims. Past clients have suffered serious injuries, many of which carried with them permanent scarring and other long-term or permanent injuries.
Contact a Tampa Dog Bite Lawyer Today!
At Winters & Yonker, we understand the pain and fear that come with this kind of injury as well as the sensitive nature of pursuing damages against friends, neighbors, or family. We are as committed to helping you maintain good relations with your neighbors, friends, or anyone you know who might be unwittingly responsible for your injury. While we pride ourselves on being Tampa’s aggressive personal injury attorneys, we also know a thing or two about fairness and compassion. We want to help you collect everything that is fair while helping ensure that your case does not have negative, lasting financial consequences for the people you live near and with whom you might have even stronger bonds.
We will do everything we can to focus our attention on the insurance company or companies tasked with compensating you for your injuries. Please do not miss the opportunity to collect based solely on who the case involves. To learn more and to get help deciding how to proceed with your dog bite case, contact us anytime online or by phone. We are here to answer your questions and offer our advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The law limits the amount of time you have to take action, so contact a Tampa dog bite lawyer at Winters & Yonker today.