If you suffered injuries from a dog bite in Boca Raton, contact a Boca Raton dog bite lawyer to learn whether you’re entitled to recover compensation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
At Hollander Law Firm, P.A., we offer a free consultation to every potential client. All you have to do is call our law offices today to connect with an attorney who can help.
How Can a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer Help If I Suffered Dog Bite Injuries in Boca Raton?
Victims of dog bites often hesitate to come forward despite the trauma of the accident. Often, the dog owner is someone you know and trust.
Still, it’s important to remember that dog bite injuries can be expensive to treat–and that most homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of reimbursing victims for their losses. On the other hand, insurance benefits aren’t always easy to get. You’ll have to offer proof about what your injury is really worth. And the insurance company isn’t just going to pay without a fight.
An experienced Boca Raton personal injury lawyer can help with the challenges that you might face along the way.
When you hire us, our team will:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog attack
- Find out if the dog has any history of aggressive behavior
- Stand up for you when the insurance company tries to blame you for provoking the dog
- Work with doctors and specialists to establish the fair value of your injury claim
- Negotiate with the insurance companies to get money in your pocket
At Hollander Law Firm, P.A., our lawyers have over 28 years of experience handling cases like yours. We know how to get the types of evidence insurers take seriously. If you’re ready to get started, just give us a call for a free consultation today.
Facts and Statistics on Dog Bites
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year. Approximately 800,000 dog bite injuries result in the need for medical attention. In 2019, the insurance industry paid out more than $797 million in settlement dollars to dog bite victims.
27,000 dog bite victims required reconstructive surgery for their injuries in 2018–and nearly one in five dog bites eventually becomes infected.
Which dog breeds are most likely to bite? A new study shows that mixed breed dogs are among the dogs most likely to bite.
Breeds that tend to bite the most include:
- Pit bulls
- German Shepherds
However, circumstances can play a role in evaluating whether a dog is likely to bite. Unfortunately, the most common victims of dog bites are young children who might not understand the risk of provoking an animal.
What Damages Are Available to Boca Raton Dog Bite Victims?
Under Florida personal injury law, dog bite victims have the right to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include your out-of-pocket costs related to the injury.
That includes compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgery
Non-economic damages are meant to account for the subjective costs associated with an injury.
Dog bite victims may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If the dog bite was fatal, close family members may be entitled to damages for wrongful death. These damages include things like loss of your loved one’s company and support, as well as funeral and burial expenses.
It’s easy to list the damages you may be entitled to receive. It’s not always easy to prove exactly what you deserve. Insurance companies won’t just hand over the money–you’ll have to come up with a dollar figure and demand compensation for your losses.
At Hollander Law Firm, P.A., we’ll hire trusted experts and specialists to back up your claim. With their testimony on your side, it’s much more likely that you’ll get the fair compensation you need. Further, our attorneys are known for our dedication to our clients–and the insurance company is bound to take your injury claim much more seriously with our lawyers in your corner.
Overview of Florida Dog Bite Laws
Florida dog bite laws impose strict liability on owners of dogs who bite and cause injuries.
The dog owner can be held liable for damages if:
- The dog bites someone
- That person was in a public place or lawfully on private property at the time of the bite
Dog bite victims don’t have to establish negligence to recover damages for their injuries.
That means you may be entitled to compensation even if:
- The dog had never behaved aggressively before
- The dog had never bitten anyone before
- The owner had no knowledge that the dog might become vicious
However, the accident victim’s own actions are taken into consideration in determining whether damages should be awarded. In other words, the dog owner’s liability will be reduced if the bite victim’s own negligence contributed to the dog’s actions.
Florida Dangerous Dog Law
Florida does not impose a “one bite rule” like some other states. However, Florida law does impose additional responsibilities on owners of “dangerous dogs.”
Under the dangerous dog law, owners are required to:
- Keep the dog in a secure location
- Register the dog with the local authorities
- Make sure the dog is properly restrained when taken off the owner’s property
A dog can be classified as dangerous if it has attacked a human or another domestic animal in the past. A dog will also be considered dangerous if, without provocation, it has chased or aggressively approached another person–as if it was about to attack.
Owners who violate the dangerous dog law in South Florida can be held criminally responsible.
Are There Any Limits on a Dog Owner’s Responsibilities Under Boca Raton Dog Bite Laws?
Dog owners are typically responsible for the acts of their animals. However, there are circumstances where the owner can escape liability or pay a reduced damages award.
Those include situations where:
- The victim was trespassing
- The victim provoked the dog
- The dog was defending its owner or a family member from a perceived attack
- The dog owner prominently displayed a “bad dog” sign and the victim was at least six years old
Dog bite cases can be complex. If you or a loved one were hurt in an animal attack in Boca Raton or Fort Lauderdale, don’t hesitate to call an experienced dog bite attorney at Hollander Law Firm, P.A. for help. We’ll listen to your story and discuss options for getting the compensation you need.
How Can Florida’s Comparative Negligence Laws Impact My Case?
Remember, you don’t have to prove that the dog owner was negligent in order to recover damages. But the dog owner might try to claim that you were negligent in order to escape liability.
Under both the dog bite law and Florida comparative fault law, the victim’s compensation award can be reduced in proportion to their share of fault. That means it’s important to take any allegations that you provoked the dog seriously.
Dog Bites Can Cause Serious and Long-Term Injuries
Every year, about 14,025 people are hospitalized for dog bite injuries. The average cost of a dog-bite related hospital stay is $18,200. It’s important not to underestimate the cost of a dog bite injury–especially if the bite becomes infected.
At Hollander Law Firm, P.A., we’ll fight to recover fair compensation for all of your dog bite injuries, including:
- Lacerations and contusions
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death
If you’ve suffered these or other dog bite injuries, reach out to our law firm for help today. We can get started on your case as soon as you make the call.
How Long Do I Have to Pursue Compensation For a Dog Bite Injury in Florida?
Florida’s statute of limitations gives injured parties four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The start of this time period is the date you sustained the dog bite injuries.
This is a hard and fast deadline. That means if you don’t file a lawsuit within four years, you’ll lose your right to compensation. Missing the deadline isn’t a risk you want to take. It’s always a smart idea to talk with an experienced lawyer who can file the paperwork needed to preserve your right to compensation.
Give us a call today if you have any concerns about the filing deadlines in your case.
Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Case Review Today
Dog bites tend to leave a mark–both emotionally and physically. Don’t let the dog owner off the hook for the damage their pet has caused. If you were hurt in an animal attack, call an experienced Boca Raton dog bite lawyer at Hollander Law Firm, P.A. for help today.
Remember, your initial consultation is 100% free of charge. We represent clients across South Florida, including in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach.