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Orlando Dog Bites
Many people have been bitten by a dog at some point in their lives. Even a minor attack can be painful and traumatic. But when an attack involves a large and powerful dog or when the victim is a small child, the consequences can be life-changing. Victims of serious dog attacks in Orlando can suffer permanent disfigurement, nerve damage, psychological issues, and more.
Owning a dog is a responsibility that must be taken seriously. When dog owners in Florida fail to do so, our dog bite attorneys at Morgan & Morgan stand ready to hold them accountable and recover fair compensation for the victims their carelessness has injured. Get your free consultation today.
Florida's Dog Bite Law
Many states recognize that when a person chooses to own or keep a dog or other potentially dangerous animal, that person must also take responsibility for the harm that animal may cause. Those states impose “dog bite laws” that increase the burden of responsibility placed upon dog owners. Florida is no exception.
Florida's dog bite law provides that dog owners are liable whenever their dog attacks a person present on public property, although that liability may be reduced if the victim's careless conduct contributed to the attack.
This means that the owner may still be liable even if there was nothing they could have done to prevent the attack. They assume liability merely by choosing to own a dog. This remains true even if the dog has no prior history of viciousness.
The same usually remains true when the attack occurs on private property, so long as the victim was lawfully present there. This can even include people not specifically invited by the owner but who are present to fulfill some legal duty.
Some examples would be postal workers, police officers, or other government agents. While dog owners can protect themselves from liability by prominently posting warning signs, even this is not absolute.
How an Orlando Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Ultimately, Florida's dog bite law is generally favorable to victims of animal attacks. However, this does not mean that it is necessarily easy for victims of serious dog bite attacks in Orlando to get fair compensation. First, the extent – and ultimate value – of the victim's damages are an issue in every case.
Dog owners and their insurers will try everything to minimize a dog attack victim's losses, including employing highly-paid experts to testify that scars and disfigurement will heal over time, or that the victim's claimed pain and disability is not supported by the injuries actually suffered.
Second, as victim-favorable as the law is, it still does allow dog owners to reduce their liability by claiming that the victim's own actions contributed to the act. This means that dog owners and their insurance companies will argue that victims provoked the dog or unreasonably put themselves in harm's way.
It takes an experienced Orlando dog bite attorney to identify the weaknesses in these arguments and expose them for what they are – a weak attempt to deny fair compensation to a seriously injured person.
Contact the Orlando Dog Bite Attorneys at Morgan & Morgan
Victims of serious dog attacks in Florida need effective and aggressive legal representation to ensure they receive fair compensation for all their injuries.
Our Orlando dog bite attorneys at Morgan & Morgan force dog owners and their insurance companies to take responsibility for the harm caused by their animals.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a dog attack, call us today at 877.667.426 or contact us online to have your case evaluated for free by an experienced attorney.
Morgan & Morgan
How Common Are Dog Bites in the United States?
According to research, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually in the United States. Of those individuals bitten by dogs, approximately 885,000 will require medical attention for their injuries.
The most likely dog breeds to bite humans include pit bulls and rottweilers. German shepherds and mastiffs are also known to bite humans.
It’s essential to note that dog bites are more likely to occur in rural areas than in larger cities. In rural areas, owners often train dogs to hunt and protect the property they live on, so they are more likely to attack people they believe are trespassers.
What Are the Odds of Dying From a Dog Bite?
Fatalities from dog bites are rare. Studies show individuals have a 1 in 119,000 chance of dying from a dog bite. To put that in perspective, it’s much more likely that you will die from an automobile accident, gunshot wound, bee sting, or bout of choking than from a dog bite.
However, that does not mean that dog bites aren’t serious. Dogs can cause disfigurement and scarring if their bites are severe.
What Types of Injuries Can Result From Dog Bites?
Dog bites can be severe, especially when they come from a canine with a strong jaw and sharp teeth. Injuries associated with dog bites include:
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Tissue damage
- Nerve injuries
Depending on the site of the dog bite, victims may have permanent scarring and disfigurement. Bites to the face can result in the loss of facial tissue and potential paralysis.
If the dog bites a leg or ankle, victims may require surgery to repair damage to their tendons, muscles, and skin.
Young children bitten by dogs may have long-lasting trauma that requires therapy to resolve.
What Is the Treatment for a Dog Bite?
Treatment for a dog bite varies, depending on its severity. You may treat mild bites at home with soap, water, and antibacterial medication.
You should seek immediate medical attention if the bite is severe and results in significant blood loss, fractured bones, or exposed muscle or tendons. Treatment may include stitches, surgery, or repair of any broken bones.
If you’re not sure of the dog’s vaccination history, it’s crucial to get treated for rabies. Rabies is fatal if you don’t seek medical assistance.
Dogs also carry certain bacteria in their mouths. It’s never a bad idea to seek medical attention if you’re worried about potential infection.
What Should I Do if a Dog Bites Me?
Following a dog bite, gather as much evidence at the scene as possible if it’s safe to do so. You’re likely to be shaken and may have wounds, so do what you can. Remember that your health is paramount, so seek medical attention immediately.
If you can, take pictures of the dog and the surrounding area. Find out who owns the dog if you don’t recognize it. If anyone witnessed the attack, get their name and contact information.
Next, see a doctor for treatment. If your wounds prevent you from taking yourself to the hospital or an urgent care center, call 911.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover From a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
You might need extensive medical treatment if you sustain injuries from a dog bite. If the dog bit your face or limbs, then surgery or stitches may be necessary. Your treatment may reach thousands of dollars, even with medical insurance.
Some victims require plastic surgery to repair scarring and tissue damage from dog bites. Plastic surgery is very costly, and you will likely need weeks away from your job to recover.
You can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and household expenses in a dog bite lawsuit. You may also be eligible for compensation related to emotional anguish, disability or disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.
Children are often the unfortunate victims of dog bites. Their innocence and unfamiliarity with danger can lead them to try to pet and play with dogs that they don’t realize are a threat. If your child was bitten by a dog, you might pursue a lawsuit on their behalf to recover compensation for their losses.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida statute of limitations laws for personal injury claims, you have up to four years to file a dog bite lawsuit. However, it’s best not to wait to file a lawsuit. Over time, memories tend to fade, and witnesses who saw the attack may move away.
It may become easier for the defense to poke holes in your claim, resulting in less compensation for your injuries.
Instead, contact an attorney at Morgan & Morgan to start the legal process. Your attorney can handle all of the footwork, including speaking with witnesses and medical experts and negotiating with insurance providers. During that time, you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Is Hiring a Dog Bite Attorney Expensive?
At Morgan & Morgan, we offer free consultations to prospective clients. At your consultation, we’ll discuss the incident and your injuries. If you decide to hire us as your attorney, we will provide you with a contingency agreement for our fees.
Under a contingency agreement, you do not pay us any money unless we obtain a favorable settlement or court verdict on your behalf. Our fees are a percentage of your award. You don’t owe us a dime if we cannot recover any damages for you.
What Is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
The value of your case depends on the extent of your injuries and financial losses. If you are partially at fault for the dog bite, an insurance provider or court may reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
It’s best to speak with a lawyer to determine what kind of damages you may recover.