If a dog injured you or a loved one, you may be able to file a claim against the owners of the dog. A dog bite lawyer in Florida at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine may be able to help.
Our injury team can explain your legal options and determine the best one for your situation. The initial consultation is free, and we do not receive payment until you win your case.
To schedule a consultation with a member of the Anidjar & Levine team, contact our law office today at 1-800-747-3733.
Recovering Compensation After a Dog Bite in Florida
If a dog bit you, you may be eligible to recover compensation from the dog’s owner. In most cases, you will file a claim with the owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
Note: This can be especially helpful if the dog belonged to your neighbor or friend. The owner will not pay out of pocket and you do not even need to discuss the claim.
Filing a Claim with the Insurer
Florida has enacted specific strict liability rules for dog bite cases. This means you can hold the dog owner liable for injuries from a dog bite, even if the dog has no history of viciousness.
To file a successful dog bite claim, you must prove:
- The defendant owns (or, at the time of the attack, was responsible for) the dog.
- The owner allowed you to be on the property when the dog bit you.
- Provocation was not the sole reason for the attack.
This is where we come in. We will help to establish the elements above to win your case.
“Bad Dog” Sign
One hurdle you might come across is the existence of a “Bad Dog” sign. If you suffered injuries on someone else’s property and a “Bad Dog” sign was clearly visible, the owner may be able to escape liability.
How an Anidjar & Levine Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
An insurer is a business and will do what it can to avoid paying you the compensation you deserve. This means it may deny or devalue your claim. We know the tactics insurers use and know how to defend against them.
When you enlist the help of the Anidjar & Levine team, we will:
- Investigate the attack
- Gather any necessary evidence
- Interview eyewitnesses
- Discuss your case with medical experts to determine the severity of your injuries and to establish how they may affect you over time
- Manage all communication with the insurance company (It is easy for someone who does not have experience with insurers to say something to jeopardize a claim. To ensure that does not happen, we can manage all communication.)
- Handle negotiations
- Prepare your case for court and present your case in front of a judge and jury if the insurer refuses to offer you a fair settlement
Recoverable Damages in a Florida Dog Bite Claim
A dog bite can require extensive treatment and have lasting consequences. While every injury — and the damages recoverable from that injury — differs, we have helped clients recover the following damages and more:
These losses have a specific value. They include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Physical therapy
To establish these losses, we can use things like receipts, bills, W-2s, and paystubs.
Noneconomic damages are less straightforward. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Development of mental health disorders, e.g., anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, development of cynophobia (i.e., fear of dogs)
- Loss of quality of life
- Permanent disfigurement
- Social anxiety and humiliation, if the bite left highly visible scars
To establish your right to these damages, we can discuss your case with an expert witness to show how your life has changed since the attack. We can also interview your family, friends, and co-workers to establish any personality changes since the injury occurred. Keeping a pain journal can also help establish the pain, suffering, and inconvenience your injury has caused you.
How Your Own Negligence Can Affect the Value of Your Claim
Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means any negligent action on your part will decrease the compensation to which you are entitled. Essentially, any action you took that could have caused the dog to attack you can lower your claim value. For example, if an investigation found you 10 percent at fault for your dog bite, you would be entitled to 90 percent of your claim’s value. If you requested $10,000, you would be able to recover $9,000.
Do Not Risk Overstepping the Statute of Limitations, Get Started on Your Case Today
You have four years after a dog bite to file suit. However, there are several steps we must take before we get to that point. Do not risk losing your right to compensation. Get started today.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Florida Lawyer
If a dog bit you or a loved one, an injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine may be able to help with your claim. Get a free, no-obligation consultation from one of our dog bite lawyers who may answer your questions.
To schedule a case evaluation in Florida, call us at 1-800-747-3733.