Can I Sue For A Dog Bite?
When A Dog’s Owner Is Responsible For A Bite.
If the dog bite was the result of the owner’s negligent actions, you may be owed compensation. Under Florida law, dog owners are considered negligent if:
● The dog’s owner was in violation of any local ordinance such as not following leash laws or “reasonable care”.
● The owner was negligent and did not use reasonable care to prevent your injury.
● The dog has bitten someone previously. If the owner knows that do has been knowing to bite, they are responsible for controlling the dog. Not doing so is negligence.
● The dog is labeled “vicious” by animal control.
In these cases, you may have a claim for the injuries sustained. A personal injury attorney can help.
How Can An Attorney Help Me After A Dog Bite?
It is highly recommended that you do seek the services of a personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases and can fight for your rights to the damages you deserve. Some of the damages you may be entitled to include:
● Your medical bills and any future medical bills related to the dog bite
● Plastic surgery to repair the disfigurement
● Any permanent impairment, scarring, or disfigurement
● Lost income
● Any lost earning capacity
● Loss of enjoyment of life
● Pain and suffering
An experienced lawyer who understands dog bite injuries and legal aspects can determine the amount for each damage.
How Do An Attorney Determine My Damages?
One of the benefits of hiring an attorney who has expertise in personal injury and dog bites is helping determine the amount you should be asking for. Medical bills are usually determined by a “multiplier” that is all the bills and lost wages are multiplied by three to five. Pain and suffering is more difficult, another reason to seek out an expert in dog bite injuries. An experienced lawyer knows what damages should be covered and how much each is worth.
How Long Does A Lawsuit Take?
There are many aspects to a dog bite lawsuit and it can be a few months to several years. That is because insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying a fair settlement to victims. There are many steps in a dog bite lawsuit:
Evidence Collection: One of the aspects that takes time is the evidence gathering. Your lawyer will need to contact all medical for information and billing. Often the medical offices do not respond in a timely matter. Your lawyer and their team will also look at future medical needs. Wages and future wages need to be evaluated. Witnesses will be interviewed. You may even be sent to your attorney’s medical specialists for further evaluation
Demand Letter: Once your personal injury lawyer has all the facts he needs and has calculated your damages he will send a demand letter to the dog owner’s (defendant) insurance company. At this time the insurance company will either accept or deny the demand.
Discovery: In discovery, both sides will ask each other for evidence and witness statements. Both sides will testify (known as a deposition) under oath. This also can take months to years. In most cases this is where the settlement is made.
If the two parties cannot come to an agreement then the case will go to trial. This also is a timely process in that much depends on when the trial is scheduled. Regardless of the timeline, what is truly important is that you get the full compensation you deserve.
At All Injuries Law Firm, we help dog bite victims in Florida recover the costs of their damages. We have a good reputation around Port Charlotte and Fort Myers for getting insurance companies to settle for a fair amount. To learn more about the process fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.