The Internet abounds with funny videos of man’s best friend. Some videos even show dogs humorously nipping at people. But dog bites are no laughing matter. Every year, people receive severe and sometimes life-threatening injuries because of animal attacks. If someone’s dog bit you, who will pay your medical bills? Do you have a potential personal injury claim for even more than your medical bills?
Common Dog Bite Injuries and Their Aftermath
A simple nip on the ankle is usually nothing to worry about. But some animal attacks cause:
- Puncture wounds,
- Broken bones,
- Facial disfigurement,
- Serious infections, and
- Emotional trauma.
Two significant injuries are sometimes overlooked –infection and emotional trauma. The physical toll of being attacked is evident to most people. However, animal bites are particularly prone to serious infections that arise days or weeks after the attack. Some infections can even be life-threatening.
The emotional toll is less obvious. The victim of a dog attack may suffer from depression, anxiety, fear, and insomnia. You and your personal injury attorney may seek compensation for such emotional injuries, as well as the physical.
Who’s to Blame?
Florida laws cover damage caused by dogs. Generally, the owner of the dog is liable for injuries to a person if the person is:
- On or in a public place,
- Lawfully on or in a private place, including the dog owner’s property.
So if you are jogging in a public park, for example, and someone’s Pomeranian bites you, the dog owner is responsible. If you are visiting the dog owner or have a legal reason to be on the owner’s property, the owner is responsible for your medical bills and other injuries.
But there are times when the animal owner is not 100% responsible. If the injured party contributed to the attack, then the dog owner’s liability might be reduced. Likewise, the dog’s owner may not be liable if the injured party was trespassing or had not been allowed access to the dog owner’s property.
Finally, property owners often post warning signs that include the term “Bad Dog.” Someone who ignores the signs, enters the property, and is then injured may find that the dog owner is not responsible unless he or she has been negligent in some other way.
If a Dog Bit You, Compensation Might Be Available.
If you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you need help from top-rated, hard-working representation. At Shapiro|Delgado, our attorneys put their injury law experience to work for you. And we handle cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do.
We represent clients throughout Florida, including Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, and surrounding communities.
To set up a free personal consultation, call 941-954-4000 or use our convenient online contact form.
Your family counts on you.
You can count on us.