We all love our four-legged buddies, but long-lasting damage can be left on us if they bite us. If you or your loved one suffers from a dog bite, you will need a dog bite lawyer to settle the case. 

Usually, it is the negligence of the owner that is the reason behind a dog bite. In St. Petersburg, the owner has to keep their dog under control. In the case of a dog bite, the owner is responsible for the dog’s actions. To get the compensation you deserve, you must seek help from a well-renowned lawyer. Let’s understand what the common causes of an injury are:

Common injuries that one can sustain in a dog bite attack:

The intensity of a dog bite attack differs according to the size and number of dogs who have attacked. The most common types of injuries that a dog can sustain are:

  • Puncture Wounds
  • Lacerations and Abrasions 
  • Muscle and Nerve Damage
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Bruises and scratches
  • Puncture and cut wounds

Apart from all these injuries, there are more severe health complications that a person can endure like:

Rabies: a serious viral disease that affects the nervous system. When the clinical symptoms start to appear, the bite can become 100% lethal. So you need to get medical attention as quickly as possible if you don’t know whether the dog was vaccinated. 

Scarring: Permanent scarring can happen due to a dog bite. 

Tetanus: Tetanus is a bacterial infection. It causes all muscles of a body to tighten up. Most people in the US are vaccinated against the infection. Still, if you are not, get your shot of tetanus at the earliest. 

Bacterial Infections: If the dog bite is deep, there are chances of an infection caused by the bacteria living in the mouth of the dog. 

Death: The number of deaths caused by a dog bite is around 20 per year. Sadly, the majority of the deaths happen to children who are under the age of 10 years. 

No matter how severe the dog bite is, it is important to get medical attention as soon as one gets bitten by a dog. With this, you can save the life of yourself and your loved one. After you are done with the medical part, it’s time to consider the legal aspect of the situation. Hiring a St. Petersburg dog bite lawyer can take the stress away from your shoulders and help you focus on getting better. 

How can an attorney help you?

A dog bite lawyer can aid you in more than one way to solve your case:

  • They can prove that the owner was negligent before the attack happened
  • Uncover all about the dog’s past attacks (if any)
  • Gather all the statements of the eyewitnesses
  • Coordinate with experts to complete all the information
  • Taking help from investigators in gathering evidence
  • Negotiating and communicating with the insurer on your behalf

Insurance companies will listen to you seriously only when you have a lawyer. It will leave an impression on a lawyer that you will seek fair compensation no matter what. Dog victims who do not show up with a lawyer usually fail to get a fair settlement. The medical bills that a victim will incur after they get bitten by a dog are immense. During the recovery, most victims even lose out on wages and sometimes endure emotional trauma. 

Defenses one might use in a dog bite case

The defenses that might be used against you differ according to the laws of your residing state. However, some of the common arguments that might come into view are:

Provocation: The dog owner may imply that you provoked the dog before the attack. Common provocation examples are teasing, threatening, making aggressive gestures, etc.  

Negligence: In a few cases, the dog owner may argue that you are equally responsible for the attack as they are. For example, The dog owner might say that they warned you about how aggressive the dog can get, and you disregarded those warnings. 

Trespassing: While there are a few legal protections for the trespassers still, you will be required to prove that you were at a place where you are legally allowed to be. In case you were trespassing, there are chances that you might lose out on recovery damages. 

With the aid of an experienced dog bite lawyer, you will have arguments that can refute all these claims easily. They will make sure to help you get compensated fairly.  

How to prove liability in a dog bite case?

Holding someone accountable for a dog bite injury will depend solely on the state’s laws and how strong your case is. In a few states, the traditional law of the “one-bite” rule is used and is imposed only when the owner had prior knowledge of their dog being dangerous or knew that their dog might be dangerous. 

For instance: If the dog had attacked someone in the past. 

Approximately half of the states in America have constructed strict liability on dog owners where the victim is only required to show the injury caused due to a dog bite attack. The victim also has to prove that the place they had the legal right to be at the place where the attack took place, irrespective of the precautions taken by the owner. 

Various dog bite statutes state the owner has to protect others from the harm that the dog causes. It can include the workers on the property, people in the public arena, and guests. Owners should also follow the leash laws and statutes created for those who own dangerous and specific breeds of dogs. 

In some states, people who are not the owner but animal caretakers, landlords, or property owners can be held responsible in a few situations. 

What should the victim do immediately after a dog bites them? 

Right after a dog bite, you should take care of the injuries and look out at the environment whether it is safe for you or not. Then, when you are sure that your injuries are stable, start gathering the following information:

Witnesses: If somebody was there with you when the incident occurred, get their names and information to make your case strong.

Information on the dog owner: Get the name of the dog owner, their address, contact information, and insurance information.

Photo of the Scene: Take pictures of the injuries, damaged property, and ruined clothing. Take photos of all the things that might prove the owner’s negligence. 

Documentation: Make sure to keep all the police and medical reports safe. Ask the owner for any documents related to the dog’s rabies vaccination. 

Damages that one can claim after a dog bite attack in St. Petersburg, Florida

A dog attack deteriorates the emotional and physical health of a victim. It can also limit the victims’ ability to earn money, which may compromise the family’s budget. But, with the assistance of a well-experienced dog bite lawyer, you can claim your damages and get a fair settlement for all the financial difficulty you faced:

Lost Wages: If your injury was serious and you could not perform your job until you recovered, you can seek compensation for all the lost wages. You can also ask for compensation for situations where your earning potential was decreased, which compelled you to change the job.

Suffering and Pain: If the dog bite attack has caused you any emotional trouble or any other permanent distress in your life, you should get compensation for that. It can include problems like PTSD or loss of enjoyment from one’s life. But this compensation is a little difficult to claim. Hiring a dog bite attorney gives you a better chance of getting fair compensation.

Medical Bills: With a dog bite injury, you can sustain a severe injury which may lead to rehabilitation, expensive surgery, or usage of special medication. You are able to seek compensation for all medical expenditures, whether in the past, present, or future. All the medical appointments and traveling costs you incurred while getting a checkup are also covered under this. 

Wrongful Death: In case the dog bite took the life of your loved one, you should get compensation for all the loss of their wages, funeral expenses compensation, and loss of companionship. 

But are you sure that you are entitled to all the damages mentioned above? In such scenarios where you are highly doubtful about what should be your next move, the Coleman Law Group at St Petersburg will help you out. We provide a free consultation to the victims with our St. Petersburg dog bite lawyer so that they can figure out the next step. We understand how horrible it can be to be attacked by a dog. Our attorneys will help you file a strong case. 

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