Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites are traumatic injuries that often have long-term consequences. The physical injuries can be severe. And the emotional and financial effects are commonly debilitating – sometimes lasting long after the physical wounds have healed. Some victims require surgery to repair damage to the skin, nerves, and other tissues. Others need ongoing physical therapy or rehabilitation to regain strength and movement in affected body parts.
If you sustained a dog bite injury, you should contact Phillips | Tadros, P.A. immediately. You could be entitled to compensation for your losses, and we can help you demand it. We have a proven track record of successfully handling dog bite injury cases. We’re ready to take on your case when you need us. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyers to learn more.
What Is Florida’s Dog Bite Law?
State law holds dog owners liable for injuries if their dogs bite someone who is in a public space or legally in a private place, including the owner’s property. It doesn’t matter whether the dog previously displayed vicious tendencies or if the owner knew or should have known.
Except in cases involving children under six or negligence on the owner’s part, Florida dog owners can protect themselves from liability for bite injuries by posting signs warning visitors about their dogs.
Is the Dog Owner Responsible for Injuries from a Dog Attack in Fort Lauderdale?
In Florida, a dog’s owner is usually responsible for bite injuries inflicted by the dog – even if they’re unaware of the dog’s aggressive nature. To hold the owner liable, you don’t have to prove that they were negligent because it isn’t necessary under Florida dog bite law. You only need to prove that their dog bit you while you were lawfully in a public or private location.
What If the Person Bitten Is Partly Responsible?
If you are partly responsible for a dog bite in Florida, you can still file a claim against the owner. However, the amount of money available for your claim could decrease based on your percentage of the overall responsibility for the incident. A dog bite injury lawyer can help you determine a fair value for your claim and minimize the effect of any evidence that could jeopardize your settlement.
Common Injuries in Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Cases
Some common examples of injuries from dog attacks include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Eye and face injuries
- Fractured bones in hands, fingers, and feet
- Deep puncture wounds
- Avulsion (tearing away) injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Infections and diseases
- Nerve or tissue damage
- Psychological trauma
What Damages Might Be Available in a Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Claim?
You can file a claim with a dog owner’s insurance company to seek damages for your dog bite injuries. However, the amount of compensation available from an insurance claim varies depending on the type of policy and the applicable coverage limits.
Additionally, some insurance companies exclude coverage for dog bite injuries from specific breeds. For example, if your injury is from a pit bull bite, the insurer might not cover that breed. In that case, you might have no other options but to pay out-of-pocket or file a lawsuit against the owner.
Whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can seek compensation for losses like:
- Emergency room bills, prescription costs, and other medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses for incidentals like medical travel
- Lost income and earning capacity from injuries that affect your ability to work
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment of life
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in Florida?
Unfortunately, Florida law was recently updated to reduce the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for your injuries and losses from a dog bite. For attacks that happen after the law was passed on March 24, 2023, you only have two years to file a dog bite lawsuit. However, the deadline could be even sooner in certain circumstances. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney as quickly as possible after a dog bite incident is essential.
How Long Can It Take to Settle a Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Case?
Multiple factors can influence the timeline of your Fort Lauderdale dog bite case, including the severity of your injuries, the number of parties involved, and whether the case goes to trial.
The steps involved in a dog bite claim vary depending on the circumstances but often include the following:
- Obtaining the dog owner’s insurance information to file a claim with the appropriate carrier
- Investigating the incident and gathering useful evidence and information to prove liability
- Drafting and submitting a demand letter to the insurance company that outlines your claim
- Participating in one or several rounds of settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster
- Filing a lawsuit if the insurer denies your claim, undervalues your claim, or acts in bad faith
How Our Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help You
If you get hurt in a Fort Lauderdale dog bite incident, Phillips | Tadros, P.A. can handle every step of your legal claim so you can focus on treating your injuries. You shouldn’t have to worry about investigating, obtaining evidence, or communicating with the insurance adjuster while dealing with a painful recovery. We’ll handle these responsibilities for you and keep the pressure on the insurance company.
When you bring your case to us, we can locate eyewitnesses to get their statements, request copies of your records from doctors, and work with reliable experts to develop evidence for your claim. We will pursue the best possible outcome so you can recover the necessary compensation and move forward.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Dog Bite Lawyers
Phillips | Tadros, P.A. represents injured clients needing quality legal services and guidance. We believe in holding people accountable for the harm they cause. You can depend on us to protect your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us anytime, 24/7, for a free consultation with a dedicated Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyer.