Dogs are known as “man’s best friend,” but there is an alarming number of instances each year in Florida when someone is attacked by a dog, for any number of reasons. In fact, the CDC has estimated that there are roughly 4.7 million dog attacks in the US each year, with nearly 1 million of these attacks requiring medical care. Being attacked by a dog is extremely scary, and between their sharp teeth and powerful bites, the results can be catastrophic.
Dog owners must be held accountable for their pet’s actions, and one of the ways that this accountability is ensured is by filing an injury claim against their insurance company, or a personal injury lawsuit directly against them. There are many different factors that you will need to take into account before determining the most appropriate course of action, but know that you have options.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney For Your Dog Bite Today
In the event that you have been attacked by a dog, it is important that you partner with a legal professional who is able to provide you with the guidance and representation that you deserve while you are focusing on recovering from your physical and emotional injuries.
The team of Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Fasig-Brooks is available to help you with your case as soon as possible. We offer free initial consultations to all dog bite victims, where we will be able to discuss the attack in detail, as well as any of the steps that you have already taken, the impacts that your injuries have had on your life, and more. Sometimes, just talking to someone who understands the rights that you have moving forward can be an enormous help.
Read more below for some general information about dog bites in Florida. In order to get a specific idea of your options, and to learn about why Fasig | Brooks is the right team for you to partner with through this difficult time, contact us now.
What To Do After a Dog Bite in Jacksonville
After a dog attack, the most important thing to do is to prioritize your medical needs. Dog bites have a tendency to get infected, which can cause even more damage than the initial bite, including blood poisoning, fevers, loss of sensation around the bite, and more. When you see a doctor, they will be able to address all immediate medical needs, and will also be able to treat your wound in a way that will help to avoid future problems. In addition, this is an important step so that you will have official records of your injuries that will be central to your injury claim.
After you have seen a doctor, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to get support for the upcoming legal process. If the dog owner has an insurance policy that covers the attack, you will benefit from hiring an attorney before even initiating a claim. As soon as an insurance company becomes aware of a claim against their policy, they will spring into action to find every way possible to limit the amount that they ultimately pay, and a lawyer will help to protect your interests over anyone else’s.
Florida Dog Bite Law
Florida Code Section 767.04 states that “The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s’ knowledge of such viciousness.” Essentially, if you are attacked on a property that you are legally allowed to be on, whether or not the dog has any history of aggression, that you are able to seek compensation. This differs from some other states that do not hold an owner accountable for a first-time attack by an otherwise friendly dog.
According to this section of the Florida Code, the owner is always liable for their dog’s actions. However, there may be other people who are also responsible, including landlords, property owners, or other individuals who allowed for this dangerous situation to unfold. In order to determine who we will pursue for damages, we will need to go through every detail of the circumstances in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for getting you the money that you deserve.
Determining Compensation After a Dog Bite Injury in Jacksonville
As with all personal injury claims, it is important that we come to the negotiation table with comprehensive supporting data about why we are requesting the compensations that we have calculated. When working directly with an insurance company without legal representation, the insurance company will use your inexperience to their advantage by questioning every line item and pushing back on as much as possible. This is the same tactic they will take with an attorney, but they are more willing to negotiate when they know that they are dealing with a trained and experienced professional.
The following are brief examples of the types of damages we will need to calculate for your claim:
Economic damages are the primary damages of a personal injury claim because they seek compensation for the measurable financial impacts that an injury has on a victim. They include all related medical bills, as well as any lost wages or impacts on the victim’s earnings. In addition, they include all other costs or losses that are related to the injuries, such as services that you hire to do otherwise routine tasks such as grocery shopping or housekeeping.
Non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate and will be met with more aggressive resistance by the insurance company because of their abstract nature. They include things like the actual pain and suffering of your injuries, as well as the emotional impacts that the dog attack has had on your life. While these are certainly harder to put a dollar value to, they are just as important, and we will fight to ensure that your damages are taken seriously.
Contact Us Now
The first step towards getting a personal injury settlement that you truly deserve after a dog attack in Jacksonville is to partner with an experienced and aggressive law firm. Fasig | Brooks is ready to provide you with the legal support that you need in order to get through this process with as little stress as possible so that you can focus on recovering without taking on the emotional burden of a legal case.
Contact us now for your free initial consultation.