When man’s best friend turns into your worst enemy and attacks you or your family member, you may be entitled to pursue compensation to pay for your injuries and other damages. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you determine if you can hold the dog owner legally responsible for your dog bite or dog attack. Our firm fights on behalf of individuals who suffered harm because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness.

We can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages you or your family member suffered because of a dog bite or dog attack. We will handle your whole case while you focus on your recovery.

Investigating Your Jacksonville Dog Bite Case

We will first ask you about the circumstances of the dog bite or attack. For instance, we will need to find out:

  • Where did the dog bite take place?
  • Did the dog bite take place at the dog owner’s home or on public property?
  • Was the dog on or off a leash?
  • Was the dog owner present? If so, did the owner try to stop the dog?
  • If you know the dog owner and the dog, have you seen the dog display aggressive behavior before?
  • What type of medical treatment did you or your loved one receive? Is the treatment ongoing?

Our investigation also involves collecting evidence such as:

  • A police report of the dog attack
  • You or your family member’s medical records
  • Photographs of your or your family member’s wounds
  • Reports of previous dog bite cases involving the same dog.

Finding out as many details as possible about the dog attack helps us to prepare a strong case on your behalf. Knowing the type of damages you or your family member sustained also helps us to determine the value of your case. 

Immediate Medical Care Is Imperative to Your Health and Claim

Make sure you seek medical attention immediately after you are bit or attacked. Dog bites can be severe and could lead to life-threatening infections such as rabies, so you want to avoid the injury worsening. In addition, if you wait to see a doctor, an insurance company may argue that your injury came from elsewhere and not pay you the compensation you deserve.

Using Evidence to Prove the Dog Owner’s Negligence 

We collect relevant evidence to prove that you or your loved one suffered a bite or an attack by a dog on the dog owner’s private property or public property, and you were not trespassing on the owner’s property but were lawfully on the property when the dog bite or attack occurred. 

Filing an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit for Your Damages

A homeowner’s insurance company usually covers medical and other expenses for dog bite victims. So, we would file a claim on your behalf against the dog owner’s insurance company.

We would also negotiate a settlement of your claim with the insurance company if necessary. Our attorneys have years of experience negotiating claims and know how to challenge insurers that want to delay or deny claims. We work hard to get personal injury victims the fair settlements they deserve. If we are unable to secure a sufficient settlement, we will take the case to court and continue fighting for justice and compensation there.

The Types of Damages You Can Pursue

Hospitalization for a serious infection or other medical conditions that need emergency treatment to you or your loved one can be the result of a dog bite. This may keep you off from work or school for quite some time. Because of this, you can pursue damages that include the following:

  • Emergency medical treatment for the dog bite
  • Hospital costs
  • Ongoing medical treatment
  • Prescription medication
  • Plastic surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost income, if you missed work due to recovery
  • Diminished earning capacity

Because a dog bite can cause emotional trauma, you can also recover non-economic damages, which include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Counseling

One of our personal injury lawyers will calculate your damages and fight for every dime you deserve. In order to have a strong case, we need to get to work right away. You have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation, and there is plenty of work to do, so let us get started on your case now and begin collecting evidence.

Florida’s Dog Bite Law

Our firm’s attorneys are proficient in Florida laws and know how to apply the state’s dangerous dog statute to your case. Florida Statutes §767.04 makes dog owners liable for damages suffered by anyone bitten or attacked by their dogs, even if owners claim, to their knowledge, that their dog has not bitten anyone before.

The statute calls for dog owners who know about their pet’s aggressive tendencies to prominently display an easily readable sign on their personal property that includes the words, “Bad Dog.”

Even if the dog owner displays the sign, dog owners are still responsible for restraining their dog to make sure their pet does not escape and bite someone.

Countering a Dog Owner’s Accusations

For dog lovers, there is nothing more pleasurable than spending time with a dog. You can expect a paw scratch here and a nip there when playing with a dog. While this does not constitute a dog bite case, dog owners may claim that you provoked their dog to bite you. Regardless if the attack was intentional, you can still file an accident claim.

Dog owners typically want to defend their pets by blaming the dog bite or attack on the victims. This is why conducting an investigation to counter claims of a dog owner is crucial to having a successful dog bite case. However, if you somehow contributed to the dog biting you, Florida’s comparative negligence law, found in Florida Statutes §768.81, will apply to your case.

How Comparative Negligence Affects a Dog Bite Case

Applying comparative negligence to your case does not mean that you cannot recover compensation for your damages. Comparative negligence means your total compensation amount will decrease based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if damages for your dog bite injuries totaled $60,000 and you were 30% at fault for causing the dog to bite you, you would receive $42,000.

The only time negligence is not applied is when a dog bites a child under the age of six, according to the state’s dog bite statute. The state law does not hold children under six comparatively negligent or liable for failing to read a prominently displayed “Bad Dog” sign. In this situation, the statute holds dog owners liable for a child’s injuries.

Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a Free Case Evaluation

A dog bite lawyer in Jacksonville, FL is available to help you with your case. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we strive to get you the compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages you or your loved one suffered because of a dog bite.

Our injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you do not pay for our services unless we recover compensation in your case. Call us today for your free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation. A compassionate team member wants to hear about your case and inform you of your rights and legal options.