Dog bites can cause serious injuries to both adults and children. If you were bitten by a dog, call an experienced Clearwater dog bite lawyer to learn about your right to financial compensation for any injuries you suffered.
At Roman & Gaynor, our trusted personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation. Call our law offices today to set up a meeting and get the legal advice you need.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help if I Was Bitten By a Dog?
It can be hard to keep up with your daily expenses if you or your child have suffered serious dog bite injuries. The injury itself might be painful and keep you out of work. Medical bills can start to add up quickly. Unfortunately, the insurance company probably won’t do much to make your life easier.
They’ll do everything they can to blame you for getting hurt. Those tactics could easily convince you to accept whatever settlement they offer–even if it’s less than you deserve. After all, who wants to deal with a drawn-out legal battle while you or your child are hurt?
At Roman & Gaynor, we have more than 65 combined years of experience helping dog bite victims get back on their feet. An experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney can fight to get the full amount of compensation you deserve.
When you let us protect your rights, our Board Certified civil litigators will:
- Investigate the dog bite or animal attack to get evidence about what happened
- Determine who might be responsible for your damages
- Work with experts to establish the fair value of your personal injury case
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and stand up for your rights
Our lawyers know that things can be difficult if you’ve been seriously hurt by a dog. You might even be reluctant to take legal action if you have dogs of your own. We get it.
Despite this, getting financial help can be important to your family’s future. You might need extensive medical care and ongoing physical therapy. Insurance compensation can help you get what you need to move on with your life.
If you would like to learn more, we’d be happy to help. Just call the law offices of Roman & Gaynor to set up a free consultation today.
How Can I Recover Compensation For Dog Bite Injuries in Florida?
Florida dog bite law gives dog bite victims several different options for recovering compensation. Three primary legal theories may apply in your case:
- Strict liability
- Negligence per se
Our personal injury attorneys at Roman & Gaynor will explore every option to help you get the most compensation possible for your injuries.
Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Florida follows a strict liability rule in dog bite cases. That means owners are responsible if their dog bites someone who is either on public property or lawfully present on private property. The owner is liable for damages regardless of whether the dog had ever acted viciously before or whether the owner knew the dog had vicious tendencies.
In other words, you don’t have to establish fault to recover compensation under a strict liability law.
That doesn’t mean your right to compensation is automatic. The following rules also apply to help the dog’s owner:
- Your compensation award can be reduced if you were somehow negligent and that negligence contributed to the biting incident
- The owner can escape liability to victims over the age of six by displaying a “bad dog” sign in a prominent place
- Dog owners are not liable to people who are bitten while trespassing on the property
If the dog has bitten before or displayed other aggressive tendencies, Florida’s dangerous dog law might apply.
Owners of dangerous dogs are required to take additional precautions to keep others safe. The dog must generally be kept secure and under control–and must be registered with the proper authorities.
Dog owners can also be responsible for dog bites caused by the owner’s negligence. A negligence theory might apply if the dog owner did something that a reasonable dog owner wouldn’t do (or failed to do something that a reasonable dog owner would have done).
To recover under a negligence theory, it’s necessary to establish fault.
Negligence Per Se
Negligence per se is a legal concept that comes into play if the dog owner was doing something illegal or against the rules. Under Florida law, someone is assumed to have acted negligently if they break a law or regulation.
For example, if the dog owner lets the dog roam the neighborhood without a leash, they might be presumed negligent “per se.”
Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Surprisingly Serious
A dog bite injury can be much more serious than the wound itself. A dog can have the force to knock the victim off their feet–especially if the person bitten is a child.
If the dog has not been properly vaccinated, the wound itself might become infected and cause complications you might never have imagined. Dogs with rabies can cause injuries that are especially severe.
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- Catastrophic injury
- Wrongful death
Our lawyers at Roman & Gaynor help victims of serious dog bite injuries get the full compensation they deserve. If you’re ready to learn more or feel you aren’t being taken seriously by the dog’s owner, give us a call for a free case review today.
Act Before Time Runs Out
You don’t have an unlimited time to take action and protect your legal rights. Even if it takes a while to understand the full extent of the injuries, it’s important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.
In Florida, you have four years from the date you sustained the dog bite injuries to file a lawsuit. This is the same statute of limitations that applies for all personal injury lawsuits. The four-year statute of limitations starts to run on the date the bite occurs–not the date that you’re diagnosed with a specific injury.
While there are some exceptions, they’re extremely limited. Our lawyers can make sure your rights are preserved. All you have to do is call to set up your free consultation.
What if the Dog’s Owner Blames Me For Provoking the Dog?
A dog bite victim’s compensation award can be reduced to the extent that the victim was also negligent. It’s possible that the dog owner could claim that you provoked the dog and caused the bite yourself.
Florida law doesn’t prevent you from suing for compensation even if you were partly to blame. The comparative fault rule in Florida simply means your compensation award can be reduced to account for your share of the blame.
Who is Responsible for My Damages?
Anyone who was responsible for the dog bite can be held liable for damages under Florida’s shared fault rules. This might include:
- The dog owner
- Dog walkers
- Pet sitters
- Property owners
Parties who are responsible for a dog have a duty to obey all local safety regulations to keep others safe from an attack. Our lawyers will do everything we can to find out what happened so that all responsible parties are held accountable.
Damages Available to Dog Bite Victims in Clearwater, FL
Dog bite injuries can be extremely painful. It can take a while to get back to normal after an animal attack. If the victim was a child, the trauma of the incident might haunt them for years. You deserve fair compensation for the damage an animal bite can cause to your life.
You shouldn’t have to worry about the consequences when you didn’t do anything wrong.
When you choose to establish an attorney client relationship with Roman & Gaynor, our dog bite attorneys will fight to get fair compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Lost future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitative care
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost quality of life
- Damages for wrongful death
Determining what you deserve after any type of dog attack can be difficult. When future damages and the value of pain and suffering come into play, the calculations can quickly make your head spin.
Our law firm works with the leading experts in the Clearwater area. Those experts in medicine, forensics, finance and psychology can provide testimony that bolsters your claim when we go up against the insurance company. We’re ready to put up a strong fight to get you the fair compensation you deserve. When you’re ready to learn more, give our premises liability lawyers a call so that we can get to work today.
Contact a Compassionate Clearwater Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Case Review Today
Whether you love dogs or not, you have the right to financial compensation for any injuries caused by someone else’s pet. A Clearwater dog bite lawyer at Roman & Gaynor can help you get the fair compensation you need.
Ready to learn more? Call our law offices to arrange a free initial consultation today. While this page is for general information purposes only, we’d be happy to discuss your individual case or situation anytime. We represent clients in Clearwater, Saint Petersburg, Palm Harbor, and across Pinellas County.