If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Miami, Florida, you should be aware of your rights and consider seeking legal assistance from a Miami Dog Bite Lawyer.
Dogs are often considered man’s best friend and are cherished members of many families. However, when a canine bites and you are not recognized by the dog, it can result in serious injuries. In such cases, it’s essential to understand that you have legal rights, and a skilled Miami Dog Bite Lawyer can guide you through the legal process.
Unfortunately, dog attacks are not uncommon in the United States, with over 4.7 million people suffering from dog bites each year. Dog attacks can lead to severe injuries, including the need for reconstructive surgery, and, in some tragic cases, they can even be fatal.
A dog bite can be a traumatizing experience that can have a lasting impact on your life, causing disfigurement, scarring, painful injuries, and infections.
If you, your child, or someone close to you has been a victim of a dog attack in Miami, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Miami dog bite attorney who can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
The dedicated injury attorneys at Klotzman Law Firm are well-equipped to assist animal bite victims in filing a lawsuit against the dog owner to seek reimbursement for injuries sustained in the attack. To discuss your injury case and potential legal recourse, contact Klotzman Law Firm at 954-915-7405 to schedule a meeting.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
In the immediate aftermath of a dog bite, it’s natural to feel frightened and in pain. However, it’s essential to take certain steps to protect your well-being and ensure your legal rights are preserved.
Here are some crucial actions to take following a canine bite incident:
Identify the Dog and the Owner
- The first step is to identify the dog that bit you and gather as much information about it as possible, including the owner’s details.
Note the dog’s size, breed, color, and whether it was restrained or on a leash during the attack.
- Check for a collar, which may contain the owner’s name and address.
Determine if the Dog is Insured
- In many cases, dogs have insurance coverage, which can significantly increase your chances of obtaining compensation. After identifying the dog owner, inquire about their dog’s insurance coverage and obtain details about the insurance carrier and policy number.
If the incident occurred on private property, ask for the owner’s insurance policy information, whether it’s homeowners or public liability insurance.
Document the Scene
If you are physically able and it’s safe to do so before seeking medical attention, take photographs and videos of the dog, your injuries, the scene of the incident, and any other relevant evidence.
Visual documentation can be essential in strengthening your compensation claim, as dog owners may try to erect warning signs after the incident, claiming they were already in place.
Obtain Dog Owner’s and Witness Information
While at the scene, exchange contact information with the dog owner, including their name, phone number, address, and any other relevant details. Additionally, if there were any witnesses to the incident, particularly impartial ones, request their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Witnesses can provide valuable testimony if needed.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it’s crucial to seek medical treatment promptly after a dog bite. Even if your injuries appear minor or are not immediately evident, don’t wait to be examined.
Dog bites can lead to infections, and some injuries may not manifest until later. Prompt medical attention will not only ensure your well-being and prevent serious infection but also create a record of your injuries, which can support your compensation claim.
Contact Animal Control
After a dog bite incident, be sure to contact your local animal control agency to file an official report. They will conduct an independent investigation, which can bolster your case and prevent future dog attacks.
Preserve Accurate Records
If you decide to pursue a dog attack claim, you may be eligible to recover expenses related to the incident, including medical bills and travel costs. To support your claim, keep meticulous records of your out-of-pocket expenses, including invoices and receipts.
Consult a Miami Dog Bite Lawyer
Not all dog bites require legal action, but you shouldn’t have to bear the consequences of an incident you didn’t cause. Dealing with insurance providers can be challenging, especially for minor bites or when the dog owner is uninsured.
That’s why it’s essential to consult an experienced injury lawyer who can guide you through the claims process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact Klotzman Law Firm for a free initial consultation.
Reporting a Dog Bite in the State of Florida
If you or someone you know has suffered a dog bite in Miami or anywhere else in the state of Florida, it’s important to follow the guidelines set by the Florida Department of Health for reporting such animal bites and incidents.
You are encouraged to complete an Animal Bite Report, providing your name and contact information so that Animal Control can conduct an investigation.
Reporting the dog attack to animal services helps create a paper trail that supports your claim and ensures that a dangerous dog does not pose a threat to others in the area. It’s strongly recommended to report the dog bite incident to your local animal control agency, county health department, or the police.
Why Hire a Miami Dog Bite Lawyer?
A dog attack can result in severe injuries, infections, and psychological trauma that can have a long-lasting impact on your life. If you lack coverage for this type of personal injury, our experienced Miami dog bite lawyers can help you pursue your compensation claim. Here’s how our dedicated Miami dog bite lawyers can assist you:
Solicit Expert Opinions
We can seek expert opinions from financial professionals and medical specialists to support your dog bite claim.
Conduct an Independent Investigation
We will carry out an independent investigation to gather key evidence.
Obtain Dog’s Records
We will obtain the dog’s records and other relevant information from the police and Animal Control.
Secure Witness Statements
Witness statements can provide valuable evidence, and we will obtain them regarding the dog bite incident.
Negotiate for Fair Compensation
We will negotiate with insurance providers to ensure you receive maximum and fair compensation.
Our legal team will assess the extent of your injuries, both economic and non-economic damages, and how they have affected you.
Provide Representation in Court
If necessary, we will provide representation in court to seek justice on your behalf.
The Miami dog bite lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm take great pride in their track record of seeking justice for injury victims. We will handle your dog bite case with sensitivity and compassion.
Contact us now for a free consultation to review your dog bite claim and learn how we can help you recover from this traumatic experience.
Who Is Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries in Florida?
Under Florida dog bite law, the owner of the dog is generally held responsible if their negligence leads to an injury. However, in certain situations, other parties may also be held liable, depending on the specific circumstances of the dog bite case.
Our dedicated dog bite lawyers will assess the unique aspects of your dog behavior in your case and may pursue compensation from:
- The dog owner
- A dog walker or dog sitter
- The owner of the private property where the injury occurred
- Kennel owners responsible for the dog’s care
If the dog that bit you belongs to a friend, family member, or neighbor, you may typically file a dog bite claim using their homeowner’s insurance rather than suing them personally.
There is no need to feel guilty about consulting with a skilled attorney to explore your options and seek reimbursement to facilitate your recovery process.
What Type of Compensation is Available in a Dog Bite Case in Miami, Florida?
When you’ve been the victim of a dog bite in Miami, Florida, it’s important to understand the types of compensation you may be entitled to.
At Klotzman Law Firm, our experienced dog bite lawyers will thoroughly assess your claim to determine how your injuries have impacted you, both currently and in the future.
You have the right to seek financial restitution to cover economic and non-economic damages resulting from the dog bite incident.
Here are the forms of compensation that may be available to you:
This includes reimbursement for any past or future medical treatments related to the dog bite, ensuring that you receive the necessary care.
If the injuries sustained from the dog bite prevented you from performing your work duties, you may be eligible for compensation for lost income and reduced earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
This compensation accounts for the physical and mental anguish you endured as a result of the dog attack, including emotional distress and suffering.
Wrongful Death Damages
In cases where a dog bite leads to a fatality, the family members of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim. These damages typically cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income that the deceased would have earned, and lost companionship.
You may be awarded punitive damages if you can definitively demonstrate that the dog owner acted with extreme recklessness or malice.
It’s worth noting that pain resulting from a dog bite isn’t limited to physical discomfort; many victims also experience emotional distress, sometimes leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to the dogs bite. If an insurance company approaches you with a settlement offer related to a dog bite, it’s advisable not to engage or agree to anything without consulting an injury lawyer.
Our law firm is committed to ensuring you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your dog bite case. Contact us today to determine the value of your dog bite claim.
Florida Dog Bite Law
Florida follows a strict liability statute concerning dog bite cases, which holds the dog owner accountable for their pet’s actions. This law is primarily designed to protect dog bite victims.
Under the strict liability doctrine, you don’t need to prove negligence on the owner’s part to meet the requirements of the law. Even if the dog owner was unaware of their dog’s propensity to bite or its dangerous nature, they can still be held responsible for the dog bite incident.
The only conditions that must be satisfied include:
- The dog attacks another individual.
- The individual is lawfully present on private property or in a public space.
- Element one is relatively straightforward to prove with witnesses. Proving the second element can be more complex, as it requires demonstrating that you were either invited to the property by the owner or that you were in a public space.
Exemptions to the strict liability dog bite statute in Florida exist in the following cases:
- If the individual antagonized or provoked the dog into violence.
- If the individual trespassed on private property and was subsequently bitten.
- If the owner displayed a warning or beware sign.
Dog Bite Injury Statistics
According to a study released by the CDC, nearly 4.7 million dog bite cases are reported in the United States each year. Approximately 800,000 dog bite wounds and attacks require medical treatment, with around 1,000 cases necessitating emergency care.
In 2019, the Insurance Information Institute reported that Florida ranked second in the United States in terms of the highest percentage of dog bite claims, with 1,268 cases, following California. Furthermore, nearly half of all dog bite incidents involve other animals, elderly individuals, children, and postal service carriers.
Time Limits for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit
If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury in Florida, it’s essential to be aware of the time constraints associated with filing a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations for dog bite claims in Florida is four years from the date of the attack.
Failure to initiate legal proceedings within this time frame can result in the forfeiture of your right to recover damages.
Promptly filing your claim ensures that you receive the financial support necessary to cover your medical expenses and other damages. Don’t delay or bear the financial burden of an incident that wasn’t your fault.
Contact a Miami dog bite lawyer from Klotzman Law Firm to initiate legal proceedings while you focus on your recovery.
Schedule a Consultation With Dedicated Miami Dog Bite Lawyers in Florida Today
While dogs are often cherished pets, there are instances when they can become aggressive and pose a threat. Dog attacks can occur suddenly, much like car accidents, and dealing with the aftermath can be challenging.
At Klotzman Law Firm, we understand the devastating impact of a dog bite injury. You may need time off work to recover and cope with the resulting trauma. Our goal is to aggressively advocate for your right to fair compensation so you can move forward.
Navigating the legal process for dog bite cases can be complex, involving various elements that determine fault. Our experienced Miami dog bite lawyers are well-equipped to guide you through these proceedings.
If you need to speak with one of our seasoned dog bite lawyers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 954-915-7405 today. We offer a free initial consultation with no obligation, and we’re here to support you through this challenging time.