Dog Bite Lawyer in Vero Beach, Florida
What is a 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 Vero Beach 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. Contact our Vero Beach dog bite attorney now.
Why would a Vero Beach dog bite lawyer be needed in a 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 Vero Beach dog bite cases, you are either dealing with an insurance company that is insuring the homeowner 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 Vero Beach dog bite attorney is there to represent your rights all the way through the claim process.
A Vero Beach dog bite lawyer 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 the 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 Vero Beach dog bite lawyer about a case?
In our Vero Beach personal injury law 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 that 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 in Vero Beach?
We feel that our personal rapport with clients is important. Vero Beach dog bite attorney 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 experienced Vero Beach dog bite attorneys from The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff at 772-492-8967 for a free consultation.
At The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, our Vero Beach, Florida law firm focuses on the following practice areas:
- Auto Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Serious Injury Law
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Truck Accident
- Wrongful Death
Frequently Asked Questions of Dog Bite Lawyers in Vero Beach, FL
What is the most common dog bite injuries?
The most common dog bite injuries include puncture wounds, lacerations, and abrasions. These injuries can range in severity from minor to life-threatening and may require medical treatment such as stitches, antibiotics, or even surgery. In some cases, dog bites can also cause nerve damage, broken bones, or infections. Additionally, victims of dog bites may suffer from emotional trauma and long-term psychological effects.
What happens to the dog after a dog bite in Florida?
After a dog bite in Florida, the dog may be quarantined for a period of time to determine if it has rabies or other diseases. Depending on the severity of the bite and the circumstances surrounding the incident, the dog may also be subject to other penalties or restrictions, such as being classified as a “dangerous dog” or being ordered to be euthanized.
How long do I have to file a dog bite claim in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite claim is four years from the date of the incident. It is important to file a claim within this timeframe in order to ensure that you are able to recover damages for your injuries and other losses.
Can I sue for emotional distress caused by a dog bite?
Yes, it is possible to sue for emotional distress caused by a dog bite in Florida. Emotional distress may include fear, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that can result from the incident. However, in order to recover damages for emotional distress, you must be able to prove that you suffered significant mental or emotional harm as a direct result of the dog bite.
What if the dog that bit me was a stray?
If the dog that bit you was a stray, it may be more difficult to recover damages. In this case, it may be necessary to identify the owner of the dog or other responsible parties in order to pursue a claim. However, if the dog was a stray and no one is found responsible, it may be difficult to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Can I file a claim if a dog knocked me down, but didn’t bite me?
Yes, you may be able to file a claim if a dog knocked you down and caused you some injuries, but did not bite you. In these cases, the owner of the dog may still be liable for your injuries if they were caused by the dog’s behavior. This may include injuries sustained from falling or being knocked over by the dog.
What if the dog that bit me was a service animal?
If the dog that bit you was a service animal, the laws and regulations surrounding service animals may come into play. In some cases, service animals may be exempt from certain rules and regulations that apply to other dogs, but owners of service animals may still be held liable for injuries caused by their animal.
Can I file a claim if I was bitten by a police dog in Florida?
Yes, you may be able to file a claim if you were bitten by a police dog in Florida. However, there are some special considerations that apply to police dogs, such as qualified immunity and sovereign immunity. These legal concepts may limit your ability to recover damages.
Can dog bites be prevented?
Yes, dog bites can be prevented through various means, such as proper training and socialization of dogs, responsible ownership, and awareness of a dog’s body language and behavior. It is important to approach dogs with caution and respect, and to never provoke or antagonize them.
Can I file a claim if my dog was attacked by another dog in Florida?
Yes, you may be able to file a claim if your dog was attacked by another dog in Florida. In this case, the owner of the other dog may be liable for your dog’s injuries and other losses. However, there may be some limitations to your ability to recover damages, such as if your own negligence contributed to the incident or if your dog was not on a leash or otherwise under your control at the time of the attack.
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