If you are the victim of a dog bite in Titusville, Florida, you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Florida law does not require that the animal that bit you had a history of aggressive behavior or biting. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you find out if you can recover damages for your losses.
Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to get a free consultation and case evaluation. There is no obligation. A dog bite lawyer in Titusville, FL can help you recover the damages you need and deserve.
The First Three Things You Should Do After a Dog Bite
As with many things in life, the first steps you take after a dog bite can have a lasting impact on the outcome. You should do these three things right after a dog bites you in Titusville, Florida:
- Call animal control so that they can try to catch the animal and evaluate it for the risk of rabies. If they cannot locate the animal, you might have to go through a series of rabies and other shots.
- Get immediate medical attention. Dog bites are high-risk wounds and are prone to infection. The medical personnel at the emergency room should evaluate your likelihood of contracting rabies from the injury. They can clean the bite, but because dog bites are usually deep puncture wounds, and dog saliva carries a plethora of bacteria and viruses that can be lethal to humans, you might need to take antibiotics and have a tetanus shot.
- Talk with a personal injury You need to protect your claim for compensation. Some people mistakenly think that because the government agencies can impose fines on the dog owner, the injured person does not have a remedy in our legal system, but that is not the case. Florida law allows dog bite victims to make the dog’s owner financially liable.
Winning a Dog Bite Claim in Florida
We must present evidence to the court that proves all four of these factors to hold the dog owner liable for your injuries:
- The defendant owned the dog that bit you.
- The attack occurred either in a public place or when you were lawfully on private property.
- The dog bite caused your injuries.
- The “Bad Dog” sign law does not shield the dog owner from responsibility for your injuries.
How Florida’s “Bad Dog” Sign Law Works
Although Florida law gives dog owners some protection from liability if they post a “Bad Dog” sign on their property, there are two situations in which the warning sign does not shield the owner from liability when the dog bites someone.
If the dog bit a child who is six years old or younger, the sign has no effect on liability. A young child is not held to the standard of an adult when it comes to reading and understanding warnings and modifying behavior accordingly.
Also, the dog owner will be liable when the dog bites someone because of the owner’s negligence. Putting up a sign does not allow owners to get away with being careless. If you were in a public place or lawfully on private property and a dog bit you because of its owner’s negligent act or omission, a warning sign has no effect.
Florida Law on Responsibility for Dog Bites
Dog owners are liable in Florida for the injuries their dogs cause by biting or attacking people in these two circumstances:
- The attack happened in a public place. Florida law protects the right of the general public to walk around without fear of being attacked by animals. When a dog is running loose or is with its owner on public property, the owner has a legal responsibility to keep the animal under control and to keep the public safe from harm.
- The dog bite happened when you were on private property but not trespassing. You could be on private property as an invited guest or performing your legal duties under state or federal law or US postal regulations, such as delivering the mail, collecting the trash, or reading the gas meter. Also, you are protected if you are on the premises because of the implied invitation of the owner, for instance, cleaning the pool or mowing the grass.
There is a common misconception that the law allows “one free bite.” Florida does not recognize such a concept. In our state, when a dog attacks someone, the owner’s claim that the dog had no history of viciousness is no defense.
Damages for Dog Bites in Titusville, Florida
The Florida dog bite statute says that dog owners have to pay “for damages suffered by persons bitten.” So, whatever reasonable damages you incur because of the attack, the owner has to pay.
Do not limit yourself to seeking compensation only through Florida’s dog bite statute. The law states that you are allowed to use any other legal remedy available in addition to the dog bite statute.
We cannot say how much your case is worth without talking with you and investigating your situation. Every case is different. Your recovery will depend on the facts of your incident.
These are examples of some of the losses people can recover for dog bites:
- Medical costs to treat your injuries. These expenses can include the reasonable costs of the ambulance, emergency room, diagnostic testing, trauma surgeon, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Subsequent medical procedures, such as additional repair damaged tissues and plastic surgery to minimize the scars.
- Lost income, to replace the wages, salary, self-employment, and other income you missed because of the attack and recuperating from the injuries.
- Diminished earning potential, if your injuries cause you to make less money than you did before the dog bite.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and psychological distress you endured.
- Other intangible losses, such as disfigurement, psychological trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss of enjoyment of life, and your spouse’s claim for loss of consortium.
How to Get Help for a Dog Bite in Titusville, Florida
You should talk to a dog bite lawyer in Titusville, FL as soon as possible. Most people feel intimidated when trying to take on billion-dollar insurance corporations on their own.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf, handle your claim, and protect your right to fair compensation. Our dog bite lawyers in Titusville, FL do not charge upfront legal fees for handling dog bite claims. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.