Dog Bite Attorney in Big Pine Key30338 Overseas Highway, Unit 7
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
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Dog Bite Lawyers in Big Pine Key
When you're attacked by any animal owned by someone else in Florida, especially a dog, it's easy to underestimate the impact the incident can have on your life. But dog bites can easily turn into infections and can also result in lifelong trauma for someone who survives.
If you suffered such an attack, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses because of an animal injury in Florida. A dog bite lawyer in Florida may be the best person who can help you recover compensation when an unfortunate dog bite has left you suffering from the consequences.
Because of the many factors associated with the full recovery of compensation and the challenges that you may face filing a lawsuit against a neighbor, colleague, or friend, you need qualified dog bite accident lawyers to help you.
To get started, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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What Are Florida's Dog Bite Laws?
In order to recover compensation after a dog bite in Florida, the victim bears the responsibility of proving their case. Under statutory strict liability outlined in Section 767.04 of Florida laws, dog owners can be held liable if their pet bites and hurts someone else. You do not necessarily need to prove that the dog was dangerous or that the owner needs to have knowledge that the dog is dangerous, but the claimant must not have led to the injuries or bite in any way.
For example, if you were taunting the dog or stepped onto the private property of someone else to bother the dog, you may not be able to claim compensation. If you were bitten and injured by a police dog or military dog performing its job, if the dog was vicious and caused property damage, or if you were trespassing on the dog owner's property, you may not be able to recover compensation under Florida law. You can only know whether or not your lawsuit is eligible for compensation after you speak with a qualified Big Pine Key dog bite lawyer.
Negligence is another legal avenue to pursue a dog bite injury recovery if statutory strict liability does not work in your case. In these cases, you need to show that the dog owner failed to act reasonably in that particular circumstance.
For a negligence case, you would need to show that any dog owner, within reason, would have handled the situation in a certain way, that the owner of that dog failed to do so, and that their failure to act led to the bite and your injuries. It can be very challenging to illustrate these elements of your case without the support of a dog bite lawyer in Big Pine Key. You may also consider pursuing a case through negligence per se. This means showing that the dog owner violated related statutes and dog bite laws in Florida.
For example, if the person was walking their pet without a leash at the time that the bite occurred, this could become the basis of the negligence per se claim. This only applies when the injuries happen during the act of negligence itself, not if the act of negligence happened previously.
Using intentional tort is the final method of pursuing justice for a dog bite case in Florida. In some cases, dog owners may intentionally cause an injury and a bite by encouraging their animal to attack others. This can be a somewhat easier way of pursuing compensation, although you will still need witnesses and evidence. A qualified personal injury lawyer with experience in dog bites in Big Pine Key is important.
The dog bite lawyers in Big Pine Key at Morgan & Morgan know how these cases must be carefully put together in order to increase your chances of recovering compensation. We also know just how hard it can be to recover from a dog bite, especially if you are contemplating hiring legal help on behalf of a child. To find out whether or not you qualify under the legal grounds and have the right to recover compensation, it is imperative that you retain the services of a qualified dog bite lawyer in Big Pine Key immediately.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit?
Each case has specific rules surrounding the ability to file a dog bite compensation claim. The countdown for the statute of limitations starts at the time of the dog bite. In Florida, you have no longer than two years from the date of the dog bite to file a lawsuit. There are rare exceptions including in those cases in which a minor is bitten or the bite results in disability. That countdown then begins when the victim recovers from their disability or the child comes of age.
If you're not yet ready to file a suit but would like to know your legal rights and the typical timeline for these kinds of cases, quick action by hiring an attorney is recommended. This is especially true if you'll be filing a homeowners' insurance claim with the person who owned the dog that bit you because you need to notify them in a timely manner.
Trying to communicate with the dog's owner is often very difficult. You might assume that this other person will be reasonable and caring based on what you've lived through. However, they may be defensive, deny liability, or be concerned that their dog will be harmed or put down simply because you're bringing a claim. It's important to remain level-headed and calm while also pursuing what you deserve. Do not feel bad about making sure you get the money needed for your recovery.
What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Big Pine Key Dog Bite Case?
Every dog bite case is different, so you need to schedule a consultation with your lawyer to discuss your specifics. You should bring copies of any medical bills and other associated totals of damages you've suffered as a result of the incident, such as lost wages at work if you needed to take time off from your employment in order to address the dog bite issues.
Furthermore, if you are the parent of a child who was injured by a dog, you may also have psychiatric or psychological costs, such as taking them to therapy and the ongoing problems of their fear of dogs. Depending on the particularities of the bite, common injuries may include traumatic brain injury, lacerations, infections, bite marks, soft tissue injuries, temporary or permanent disability, bruises, cuts, and abrasions.
Compensation may cover the treatment of these injuries and the pain and suffering they cause in a Big Pine Key dog bite accident case. It may also cover any financial losses, like earning an income capacity and property damage. Bear in mind that the other side will try to do everything possible to minimize or deny their liability.
For example, they may argue that you were trespassing, that you somehow provoked the dog, or that you harmed the dog in the past and this justified the attack. It can be very difficult to prove a dog bite claim, and you need to find an attorney who has appropriate experience. Some of the common questions brought up in these types of Big Pine Key dog bite cases include:
- Were you trespassing at the time?
- Did you know that the dog was prone to attacking people?
- Was the dog naturally aggressive?
No two dog bite cases are exactly the same, and the evidence and details surrounding how the accident happened will all inform the strategy your dog bite lawyer uses to pursue the case.
Your Florida dog bite attorney is responsible for proving your injuries and illustrating other elements of the case. If you find yourself struggling with answers to the questions associated with your legal case, don't hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.