Dog Bite Injuries
Dog attacks can lead to serious medical problems. There are more than four million dog bite attacks reported every year in the U.S., and numerous other incidents go unreported. Unfortunately, most dog bite victims are children. With that said, the majority of dog attacks happen at home or in a familiar setting with the dog belonging to the victim’s family or a friend. While most dogs or household pets may not show signs of aggressive behavior, enough aggravation may tempt even the most docile creatures to bite.
If you were attacked by a dog, it is important to act quickly so that you can gather as much helpful evidence as you can. As always, the first priority after an animal attack of any kind should be to seek medical attention at once. Useful evidence that can assist with your dog bite claim can include:
- The name of the dog and its owner
- The dog owner’s address
- Names and addresses belonging to any eye witnesses of the attack
- Photos and descriptions of any injuries
- Photos and descriptions of the location of the attack
- Medical evaluation from the treating physician describing any injuries
There are specific Florida laws that apply to dog bite cases. Dog owners in Florida are liable for injuries and losses should their dog attack another person on public or private property. It does not matter if the dog never exhibited aggressive behavior before, and it does not matter if the dog was on or off a leash. In fact, it is not even required to suffer from an actual bite to file a claim for damages; if a dog knocked you over or you fell running away from an aggressive dog, your injuries can still be covered. If a dog’s actions or behavior inflicted any injuries to yourself, your pet or damaged your property, the owner can be held liable for any damage their dog may have caused.
Dog bites and attacks can leave a victim suffering from serious injuries. Physical injuries can include:
- Broken Bones or Fractures
- Nerve Damage
On top of physical injuries, a victim of a dog bite or attack may suffer long-term psychological trauma including nightmares and a lasting fear of dogs or animals. Dog bites can require hefty medical expenses for plastic and reconstructive services. Even if you know the owner of a dog that attacked you or a loved one, you can still file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. Sometimes this is your only choice if you have sustained extensive losses. Most homeowner insurance policies cover dog bites, so damages are usually paid through the insurance company. The Dog Bite Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional suffering, mental anguish, therapy costs and property damage.Legal Help for Your Dog Bite Injury in The Villages
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your dog bite injury, our Villages Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can provide you with the legal assistance you need in order to re recover financial compensation. We can help with any of the following dog bite injuries or attacks:
- Child injuries - Children are much more likely to be victims of dog bites and/or attacks because of their small stature. Sometimes children run up to dogs without fully understanding that they can be aggressive/dangerous. A dog bite injury can affect a child for the rest of their life, and we can help hold the owner of the vicious dog accountable for their pet’s actions.
- Attacks at parks/dog parks - Parks and specific dog parks provide pet owners with the opportunity to let their dogs socialize and play with others. However, if a dog is not properly monitored, then it can easily attack other dogs or people who are also on the property. If your dog is attacked by another vicious dog, then we may be able to seek compensation for emergency care and all other vet bills.
- Off leash dogs - If a dog escapes its home and is roaming the streets or neighborhood and attacks someone, then we can help identify the owner in order to pursue compensation for damages. Dog bites can result in scars and disfigurement that require cosmetic surgery as well as nerve damage, loss of sensation, and paralysis. It could take months to years for these injuries to fully heal.
- Injuries that do not involve bites - Dog attack victims do not always suffer from bite injuries. Victims could suffer broken bones or had trauma from falls or other serious injuries from traffic accidents caused by a dog.
- Certain dog breeds are more aggressive - Pit bulls or Rottweilers are inherently more likely to be aggressive or dangerous than other dogs. Owners who fail to train these dogs properly can be considered negligent if their dogs attack others.
- Wrongful death - In the worst cases, dog attacks can result in death. We can help surviving family members pursue financial compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and all other damages that result.
If you need answers related to a dog bite injury in The Villages, contact Whittel & Melton today for a free initial evaluation of your case. We can assist with dog bite claims throughout Lake, Sumter and Marion Counties. Contact us online or call 352-369-5334.