Dogs are said to be man’s best friend and are known to be loyal compared to people. Many of us love these canines and if you own one, chances are that you see them as family. However, what if you come across a dog that doesn’t recognize you and you are bitten? When faced with such a scenario, it’s important to remember that you have rights and that a Hollywood Dog Bite Lawyer can help you traverse these legal waters.
Sadly, over 4.7 million people suffer dog bites every year in the U.S. Injuries sustained from dog bites may be so severe that they need reconstructive surgery, and in some instances, dog bites can be deadly. There’s no denying that a dog attack can be a traumatizing experience which can completely upend your life for years to come. Disfigurement, scarring, painful injuries, and dangerous infections are all possible outcomes of dog bites.
If you, your child or somebody close to you has experienced a dog attack, you’ll want a seasoned Hollywood dog bite lawyer to pursue the compensation you are owed. When you enlist the expertise of the Hollywood injury attorneys from Klotzman Law Firm, you’ll have a far better chance of holding the dog owner liable.
We can assist dog bite victims to file a lawsuit against the dog owner and get reimbursed for injuries suffered in the attack. Reach out to Klotzman Law Firm at 954-915-7405 to arrange a meeting to discuss more about your injury case and possible legal recourse.
What Should I Do if I was Bitten by a Dog?
It’s normal to get confused in the moments following a dog bite. Other than being terrified, you’ll likely be squirming in pain from the attack. And with everything happening very fast, it’s imperative that you know what to do next to protect your wellbeing and also ensure your legal rights aren’t infringed upon.
As you attempt to comprehend and process this traumatic event, here are some important steps you should take.
Identify the Dog and the Owner
Firstly, you need to pinpoint the exact dog that has bitten you and obtain as much information about it as possible, including its owner. Distinguish the size, breed, and color of the dog and whether it was on a leash or restrained in any way during the attack. Check whether it has a collar to find other vital information like the owner’s name and address
Work Out if the Dog is Insured
Pet insurance has become very common in the U.S. and if the dog that attacked you has insurance coverage, it will massively increase your hopes of getting restitution. So, after locating the dog owner, inquire whether their dog has insurance coverage and get details about the insurance carrier as well as the policy number.
If you were attacked in a private premises then demand the details of the owner’s insurance policy. If it’s a private residence, homeowners insurance could cover the claim. If it’s a commercial setting, their public liability insurance will provide coverage. Insurance information will be essential when filing your claim.
Document the Scene
If you are physically capable to perform this action safely before leaving to seek medical aid for your injuries, take videos and photographs of the dog, injuries, the scene, and other relevant pieces of evidence. Having a visual record of the incident can go a long way in bolstering your compensation claim. Dog owners may unscrupulously erect warning posters after the incident and allege they were already put up in the moments leading to the attack.
Also, when you’re in the right state of mind, jot down everything you can recall about the attack so you can have the right facts as they occurred. These written accounts can be used at a later date when the circumstances of the incident are contested by the dog owner.
Get Dog Owner’s and Witness Info
While at the scene, make sure to exchange contact information with the dog owner, including their name, insurance provider, phone number, address, and any other pertinent contact information, similar to what you would do at a car accident scene.
Witnesses, particularly unbiased ones can offer invaluable insights in any legal case. If anybody saw what transpired, request their name, phone number, and address so they can confirm your statement and also give an eyewitness account if it comes down to it.
Get Medical Aid Right Away
Seek medical treatment immediately after leaving the dog bite scene. There are instances when an ambulance may be called out, but even if you can book a consultation with your primary caregiver or arrange an alternative means to get to an emergency room, that is okay so long as you receive medical attention as soon as possible.
Even if the injuries are minor or not evident, don’t wait to be examined. This is crucial since dog bites can contract an infection, and other phantom injuries, particularly if it hasn’t been vaccinated. Receiving medical aid will allow you to have records of your injuries and will assist support your compensation claim.
Call Animal Control
Following a dog attack, make sure to contact your local animal control agency to file an official report. They will conduct an independent investigation into the incident, which will aid your case in addition to stopping other individuals from suffering dog bites.
Preserve Accurate Records
If you pursue a dog bite claim, you will be eligible to recoup any expenditures you have incurred, along with reimbursement for injuries suffered. You can claim compensation for things such as travel costs and medical expenses.
However, you’ll need to show that these expenses were incurred, which is why it’s crucial that you take note of what you incur out of pocket and preserve accompanying invoices and receipts.
Contact a Hollywood Dog Bite Lawyer
It’s important to bear in mind that not all dog bites are severe enough to warrant a lawsuit, but at the same time, you shouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath of an incident you didn’t directly cause. Given how the owner’s home insurance will provide coverage for most dog bites incidents, you don’t need to be concerned about how you’ll recoup damages suffered or feel guilty bringing a claim against the owner.
But this suggests that you’ll be left to deal with the insurance provider – an entity intent to delay, devalue, or completely reject your claim since doing so will be beneficial to their bottom line. The claims process becomes even more complex if the owner of the dog is uninsured.
Claims like these need proficient legal know-how, which is why it’s in your interest to hire a seasoned injury lawyer to steer you through the claims process and aid you recoup the compensation you are owed. Call Klotzman Law Firm now to arrange a free initial consultation!
Who do I Report a Dog Bite to in the State of Florida?
If you, your child, or somebody close to you has suffered a dog bite, you are urged by the Florida Department of Health to report the incident by finishing the Animal Bite Report. You will be requested to leave your number and name so that Animal Control can be sent out to carry out an investigation.
Reporting the canine to animal services will assist to forge a paper trail supporting your claim, and also ascertain a dangerous dog doesn’t harm anybody else in the vicinity. You are strongly encouraged to report the dog bite incident to your local animal control agency, county health department, or the police.
Why Should I Hire a Hollywood Dog Bite Lawyer?
A dog attack can result in debilitating injuries, and infections that lead to death and even cause long-lasting psychological traumas. If you don’t have coverage for this kind of personal injury, our seasoned Hollywood dog bite lawyers can assist you to validate your compensation claim.
Here’s how our committed Hollywood dog bite lawyers can assist you;
- Solicit expert opinions from financial professionals and medical specialists to support your dog bite claim.
- Carry out an independent investigation and obtain key pieces of evidence.
- Getting the dog’s records and other relevant information from the police and Animal Control.
- Obtaining witness statements regarding the dog bite.
- Negotiate for maximum and fair compensation.
- Calculate the extent of your injuries and how they have impacted you and will continue to do so; economic and non-economic damages.
Provide Representation in Court
The Hollywood dog bite lawyers from Klotzman Law Firm take immense pride in their long standing track record of seeking justice for injury victims. We will handle your dog bite case with utmost sensitivity and compassion.
Arrange a no-cost consultation now to review your dog bite claim and find out how we can assist you to get past this traumatic ordeal.
Who is Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries?
Florida dog bite law stipulates that the owner of the dog will be held culpable if their negligence results in an injury. Nevertheless, there are other instances when other parties may be held culpable. Based on the unique circumstances surrounding your dog bite case, our committed dog bite lawyers may pursue compensation from;
- The dog owner
- A dog walker or dog sitter
- The owner of the private property you were injured
- Kennel owners in charge of the dog’s care
If the dog that bit you belongs to a friend, family member, or neighbor, you will likely pursue a dog bite claim using their homeowner’s insurance, and not sue them personally. So don’t feel guilty about consulting with a skilled attorney to find out what your options are and how you can get reimbursed to begin the healing process.
What Type of Compensation can I Expect in a Dog Bite Case?
Our skilled dog bite lawyers at Klotzman Law Firm will do a comprehensive review of your claim to establish the manner in which injuries have affected you (and will continue to). You are entitled to financial restitution to cover economic and non-economic damages.
We can help you receive compensation for;
- Medical expenses. This includes any past or future treatment that caters to the dog bite.
- Lost earnings. This refers to reduced income and earning capability if you were incapable of performing your work roles as a result of the bite injuries.
- Pain and suffering. This refers to the physical and mental anguish resulting from the dog attack.
- Wrongful death damages. If the dog bite proves to be fatal, the decedent’s family members can file a wrongful death claim. These damages usually cover medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income the deceased would make and lost companionship.
- Punitive damages. You can get punitive damages if you can definitively show how the dog owners acted with extreme recklessness or malice.
Pain doesn’t necessarily have to be physical. Most of the dog bite victims we talk to are completely traumatized by the incident, and they experience emotional distress in addition to physical throbbing pain. In some instances, victims go on to have lifetime PTSD of dogs.
If an insurance carrier approaches you with a dog bite settlement offer, don’t engage with them or agree to anything without speaking to an injury lawyer.
Our law firm can make sure you receive maximum compensation for your dog bite case. Call us today to find out how much your dog bite claim is worth.
What Does Florida Law Say About Dog Bites
Florida follows a strict liability statute when it comes to dog bite cases, whereby the owner will be held accountable for their pet’s actions. This law is generally meant to safeguard dog bite victims. According to the strict liability doctrine, you don’t need to prove negligence to satisfy the caveats set by law. Even if the dog owner didn’t know their dog had the predisposition to bite or was dangerous, they can still be held culpable for the dog bite incident.
The only caveats that must be satisfied include:
- The dog bites another individual
- The individual is in a lawful private premise or a public space.
So long as there are witnesses, you can easily prove element one.
Proving the second element is a bit tricky since you’ll need to prove you were welcomed to the property where the dog is located. This right can be accorded by the property owner or you may just be in a public space.
Exemptions to the strict liability dog bite statute in Florida are if:
- The individual antagonized or instigated the dog into violence
- The individual trespassed on private premises and got bitten
- The owner erected a signpost indicating a warning or beware sign
Statistics of Dog Bite Injuries
Following a study released by the CDC, nearly 4.7 million dog bite cases are reported in America each year. About 800,000 dog bite attacks need medical treatment with around 1,000 cases necessitating emergency care.
In 2019, the Insurance Information Institute disclosed a survey showing that Florida comes in second with the highest percentage of dog bite claims, 1,268 following California. What’s more, nearly half of all dog bite incidences involve elderly people, children and postal service carriers.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
If you’ve suffered an injury due to a dog bite in Florida, it’s important to keep in mind that you have a limited span of time to file a personal injury claim. Florida statute of limitation with regard to dog bite claims is four years following the date of the attack. If this period lapses, you will have relinquished your rights to recover damages.
The faster you file the claim, the sooner you’ll get the financial backing you need to cover your medical costs and other damages. Don’t hesitate and suffer alone bearing the financial weight of an incident that wasn’t your fault. Call a Hollywood dog bite lawyer from Klotzman Law Firm to get legal proceedings going as you focus on recuperating.
Book a Consultation With Committed Hollywood Dog Bite Lawyers in Florida Today!
As much as we love to pet these furry creatures, there are times that they can turn hostile and be your worst experience. Dog attacks are more or less the same as car accidents, as they can happen out of nowhere.
If you find yourself near dogs, it is integral that you know what to do next after being at the end of their attack. Dog bite cases are not as straightforward as you may think. There are a few elements that will come into play when proving dog bite fault.
At Klotzman Law Firm, we are fully aware of how calamitous a dog bite injury is. Chances are that you will have to take time off work to recuperate and also deal with the trauma that ensues. We will aggressively fight for you to receive fair compensation so you can move on.
All you have to do is trust that our Hollywood dog bite lawyers will help you successfully navigate the dog bite proceedings. If you want to speak with one of our experienced dog bite lawyers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 954-915-7405 today. Our initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation.