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Former Insurance Company Attorney with Over 25 Years of Trial Experience

The Opposing Side's Knowledge Working for You

Dog Bite Lawyer in Vero Beach, FL

What is dog bite law in Vero Beach, FL?

In dog bite law, the state of Florida decided, “If you are going to have a dog, then you are going to be held strictly liable if your dog does something to somebody.” So, it really does not get into, except for exceptional cases, if a dog attacks you, the finding will be is that the dog owner is responsible for those injuries. In a dog bite case, you are dealing more with just the specifics of what your injuries are, whether or not they permanent, if you have scarring as a result, if you have suffered any type of mental anguish or post-traumatic stress from the attack, and what the worth of those cases are.

Why would a Vero Beach lawyer be needed in a dog bite case?

In dog bite cases, often what occurs is an intricate story of where the dog was, if a dog got out, if the owner had knowledge that the dog got out, if there was a predisposition that the dog could be aggressive, and all these things are arguments that are made.

Obviously, in most dog bite cases you are either dealing with an insurance company that is insuring the home owner for actions of the dog, and if not, you are addressing strictly the dog owner who is making allegations or may make allegations on how this, for whatever reason, may not be their fault. So, the use of an experienced attorney is there to represent your rights all the way through the claim process.

An Vero Beach dog bite attorney will help you understand exactly what your right is, what the law is, what you can do, and what you can file claims for or damages. If you are trying to file a claim as a lay person, you may not know what your total rights are without having professional advice.

What are important facts to know about Florida dog bite law?

Under Florida’s strict liability law, it does not matter whether the owner was negligent or not in keeping or handling the dog. Also, the victim does not have to prove that the owner had previous knowledge that the dog was dangerous or had any vicious tendencies. Even if the dog had never bitten before, the owner can still be held strictly liable for the damage caused. This applies if the attack occurred on public property, or even on the owner’s private property if the victim was lawfully on the property at the time.

What type of compensation is covered in a dog bite claim?

In all cases for injury, everything is going to be a money damages type of compensation. In regard to money damages for a dog bite claim, what you are often dealing with is going to be the cost of medical treatment, the cost of future medical treatment, any type of past pain and suffering or mental anguish, and any type of future pain and suffering or mental anguish. Depending on the injury, it will involve damages if you lost time from work, if you can continue your job, if you had to change a job, and any type of ongoing restrictions you may have due to the injury.

Dog bite injuries can be extremely serious. The jaws of a powerful animal can easily break bones and damage nerves. Dog bite victims may get serious infections that are very deep in the tissue or bone and extremely difficult to treat and potentially life-threatening. Facial scarring, disfigurement and psychological trauma that can last for years or permanently are also common results of vicious animal attacks. Sadly, these injuries are often the most serious when the victims are young children who cannot defend themselves or get away and are much more vulnerable to a large dog. Hundreds of thousands of dog bite victims need medical treatment or surgery annually, and dog bites tragically take dozens of lives every year.

How do dog owners and insurance companies fight claims for compensation after an attack?

If a dog owner had a “bad dog” sign in the yard when the attack occurred on the owner’s property, the owner will not be held strictly liable to the victim. However, the owner could still be liable if he or she was negligent. Dog owner negligence may be shown by proving the dog was allowed to roam freely in an unfenced yard or was placed on an extra long chain that allowed the dog to attack a victim on the sidewalk. Failing to maintain a fence in good repair is another indication of negligence, especially if the dog is of a dangerous breed or is known to act menacingly toward strangers.

Also, dog owners and insurance companies may try to put as much of the blame for the attack on the victim. They may claim the victim provoked the dog into biting, or that the victim was careless or negligent around the dog. Even when an owner is being held strictly liable for the attack, putting any amount of fault on the injury victim can reduce the amount of compensation the owner is forced to pay.

What information does the client need to gather when preparing to talk to a lawyer about a dog bite case?

In our firm’s experience, dog-bite cases, although it is strict liability, become very complicated. What we urge people to do is, if there is an attack by a dog, immediately take photos of the injury. You try to take photos of whether the dog owner’s house had a hole in the fence, or whatever issue allowed the dog out. If the dog was not on a leash, photos will substantiate those things so that you are not getting into an oral argument later where the attacked person is saying, “Your dog was not on a leash,” and the dog owner is saying, “No. The dog was on a leash.” The pictures will substantiate where you do not have to make an argument, and will prove those different issues which can come up later in these types of cases.

How does the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA, help clients with their dog-bite cases ?

We feel that our personal rapport with clients is important. Mr. Bregoff handles everything himself. He deals with the insurance adjusters directly in all phone conversations that are related to the substantiated claims which emanate from a dog-bite case. He also deals directly with insurance defense attorneys on all types of calls that concern any type of issues, which relate to the injury itself.

Contact our experienced Vero Beach dog bite attorneys at (772) 492-8967 for a free consultation.

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The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff PA - 2017 - 2018
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