Carrollwood Dog Bite Attorney
Every year, dogs bite millions of Americans. Generally, the attacking animal is a large breed dog, like a German shepherd, and the victim is a small child. As a result, the attack usually causes serious physical and emotional injuries. Frequently, these injuries are permanent. The lifetime medical bills could be astronomical. The lifetime pain and suffering is hard to calculate.
The compassionate Carrollwood dog bite attorneys at Moore Law understand the different dimensions of animal attack injuries. We do not want these victims to become a burden to themselves or to society. So, we work hard to obtain maximum compensation in these cases. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Dog Bite Injuries
When a large dog lunges at a small child, the resulting knockdown usually causes broken bones and head injuries. The broken bones could cause delayed physical development and other issues. Furthermore, head injuries are permanent. When brain cells die, they never regenerate. These injuries, by themselves, are very serious. Unfortunately for these victims, the injuries are just beginning.
A dog’s teeth usually cause severe surface lacerations and deep puncture wounds. These lacerations often require extensive reconstructive surgery. Even then, the scars remain. As for deep puncture wounds, they usually cause severe internal bleeding. Such bleeding is difficult to detect and even more difficult to stop.
Dog bite wounds usually have high infection rates. Possibilities include pasteurella multocida, cellulitis, and pasteurella canis. These bacterial infections could be life-threatening in some cases.
Your Legal Options
The Sunshine State has a limited strict liability law. Owners are strictly liable for bite injuries only. Subject to the provocation defense, which is discussed below, these victims need only prove cause.
Negligence is a possibility as well. Scienter (knowledge) is a specific form of negligence. This rule applies if the owner knew the attacking dog was potentially vicious. Evidence of knowledge includes pre-bite behavior, like:
- Barking, and
Compensation is often higher in scienter cases than in strict liability claims. Even pet owner jurors are willing to award maximum compensation in most scienter claims. There is an element of owner recklessness in these matters.
Negligence per se is a violation of a leash law, fence law, or other animal restraint law. Ordinary negligence is a lack of ordinary care.
Common Insurance Company Defenses
Assumption of the risk, which is usually a negligence defense, and provocation, which was mentioned above, are the most common insurance company defenses in dog bite claims.
Assumption of the risk is a voluntary assumption of a known risk. Warning signs, like “Beware of Dog,” make this defense easier to prove. But a sign does not firmly establish this defense. Insurance company lawyers must still prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the victim saw the sign, could read the sign, and could understand what the sign meant.
Provocation is basically a form of comparative fault. If the victim provoked the animal, the owner isn’t liable for damages. Florida law defines the P-word very narrowly. In most cases, provocation is an intentional and physical act. Victims cannot accidentally provoke dogs. Furthermore, aggressive teasing is not provocative in this context.
Connect with a Thorough Hillsborough County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced dog bite lawyer in Carrollwood, contact Moore Law by going online or calling 813-510-5400. You have a limited amount of time to act.