Injuries from a dog bite occur when a violent dog assaults a person or another animal, usually without incitement. Injuries because of dog bites are prevalent in the United States and across the globe. About 800,000 people get bitten each year. When someone suffers from a dog bite, he or she needs medical care.
If you or your loved one suffer from any injury because of a dog bite, you might be able to pursue compensation. Depending upon your circumstances, homeowner’s insurance might cover damages if the dog bite occurred on the owner’s property. If you were bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to compensation. Click here to contact an experienced dog bite injury lawyer who can evaluate your situation and build your case.
Common dog bite injuries
Several kinds of injuries can happen because of a dog bite. The most common types of injury include scarring, bruising, and cuts. The emotional stress that occurs because of a dog injury takes a toll on the victim and can have harmful consequences.
Scarring also sometimes results in emotional pain because it becomes like an everyday reminder of what has happened. Other common health issues caused by a dog bite include:
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression
- Broken bones
- Wrongful death
- Cynophobia (fear of dogs)
- Wrongful death
Seeking the assistance of a dog bite attorney at the right time can help you take the next steps toward securing the compensation that you are owed. If you live in Florida, then you should know about Florida Dog Bite laws.
Florida dog bite laws do not require the victim to prove their injuries were a result of an owner’s negligence because Texas is a “strict liability” state. An owner can be held liable for a dog bite. It does not matter whether they were not previously aware of the aggressive nature of the animal.
Animal control will likely take your dog into custody on a “bite hold” if it bites someone. The dog is held in custody for about ten days. During this period, the owner can request a hearing. In Florida, dog bite cases fall under the following categories:
- Strict liability: Dogs are animals, and thus they are pretty unpredictable. Sometimes an ordinary dog will also bite others unexpectedly. For this reason, many states have enacted a one-bite rule that allows the dog and its owner a little mercy if it has bitten someone for the first time. But Florida is different. Florida applies a legal standard called strict liability in dog bite cases. This states that dog owners are held strictly responsible if their dog bites someone. Therefore, a dog owner is held accountable for a dog bite, even if it is for the first time. Some exceptions include:
- Military or police dogs
- If the dog was provoked
- Negligence and the dog bite law Florida: You can also face this cause of action. This states that the dog owner is liable to the victim if he or she has violated the duty of care that resulted in damages. For winning a negligence claim, you have to prove that the owner of the dog violated the expected duty of care that resulted in injuries.
- Assault: It depends on specific intent. The owner of the dog must have influenced the dog to bite the other person purposefully. This concept applies to cases where the owner of the dog provokes a dog to bite.
Liability of persons other than the owner
Mostly, the dog owners are held responsible for bites and injuries caused by their dogs. But in some situations, there may be some other person responsible for causing injuries. For example:
- A person who is not the owner but was taking care of the dog
- When the owner is under 18 years old (the owner’s parent is usually responsible)
- The owner’s landlord is well aware that a renter had a dangerous or vicious dog but failed to take any action
When a dog bites you, consider the following steps:
- Seek medical help immediately. A common mistake that most dog bite victims make is not seeking medical assistance, thinking of it as a minor injury. Sometimes, it is not possible to know about the severity of the damage until a doctor examines it or it becomes worse. Going to a doctor can make your case strong and might affect the compensation amount you are entitled to. The medical records and other such documentation help to show that your injury has occurred because of a dog bite.
- Report the incident to the police. When you initiate a police report, it will strengthen your case and enhance your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
- Collect evidence and talk to eyewitnesses. When you collect evidence on how the dog bite injury occurred and the circumstances surrounding the incident, it will affect the claims success. You must take a photograph of all the wounds within a few days and safeguard the clothing that you wore at the time of the dog bite. The clothes will show evidence of tears and damage as a result of the incident. Keep records of the contact information of any eyewitnesses and the owner of the dog for future reference.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer who can speed up the legal process and assist you with securing compensation more rapidly.