Were you or your child bitten by a dog in St. Petersburg, Florida? You can protect your legal rights by speaking with an experienced St. Petersburg dog bite lawyer. At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, we can fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Since we were founded in 1955, we’ve recovered over $675 million in compensation for injured clients in the Tampa Bay area. We’re prepared to fight for you.
A dog bite can be a traumatic experience. To learn more about how we can help, contact our law firm in St. Petersburg, FL, at (727) 349-1728 to schedule a free consultation today.
How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Dog Bite in St. Petersburg
In the days and weeks after a dog bite, you might start to struggle with the financial costs. Those costs aren’t going to simply go away. Fortunately, when someone else allows their dog to injure you or your child, you have a legal right to seek compensation.
That typically means filing a claim with the insurance company. Even if the dog owner seems apologetic, you shouldn’t expect the insurance company to simply hand over a check. A St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can help you get the money you need.
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, our lawyers have over 300 years of combined experience. That makes us one of the most experienced personal injury firms around.
Hiring us means you’ll have a lawyer to:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog bite
- Defend you if you’re blamed for provoking the dog
- Calculate the value of your personal injury claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your settlement
Creating an attorney client relationship with an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney can make a world of difference. To learn more about how we can help, we highly recommend calling for a free initial consultation today.
How Common Are Dog Bites in St. Petersburg?
About 5 million people are bitten by dogs in the U.S. each year. Many of those bites are serious. CDC research shows that approximately 800,000 Americans require medical treatment for dog bite injuries annually.
Nearly 40% of all Florida households own a dog. According to the Florida Department of Health, over 600 Florida residents are hospitalized with dog bite injuries each year. However, reports also show that 1,281 dog bite injury claims were submitted to insurance companies during a single year.
That means more than three Florida residents are seriously hurt by dogs every day. Unfortunately, many of these dog bite victims are kids. Children between ages one and nine are at the highest risk of dog bite injuries.
What is My St. Petersburg Dog Bite Case Worth?
A lawyer can’t put a dollar value on your personal injury claim without all of the facts. However, the general factors that will help us determine how much your personal injury case is worth include:
- The type, nature, and severity of your injury
- The cost of your medical treatment
- Whether you’ll need ongoing medical care or rehabilitation
- Your emotional trauma
- Whether the attack has impacted your quality of life
The age of the victim is often important in dog bite cases. Children can suffer much more dramatically than adults–often only because of their smaller size.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims?
A dog bite itself can inflict serious harm. When complications like infection, secondary injuries, and emotional trauma are involved, your costs can quickly become overwhelming.
Our lawyers are here to make sure you’re fairly compensated. Two primary types of damages are available under Florida personal injury laws: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages reimburse victims for financial expenses and costs, such as;
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Reduced earning potential
- Reconstructive surgeries
- Physical therapy
- Counseling or therapy
- Property damage
Some damages don’t actually cost money. That doesn’t mean those non-financial losses are less important. It only means that your lawyer will have to work to translate your subjective, non-economic losses into dollars and cents.
Examples of non-economic damages commonly suffered by dog bite victims include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
In fatal injury cases, our wrongful death lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover additional damages for wrongful death.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for Being Bitten by a Dog in Florida?
The dog owner may try to avoid paying compensation by blaming you for provoking the dog. If they succeed, your compensation award could be reduced. You could also walk away with no compensation at all.
Florida follows a modified comparative fault law with a 51% bar to recovery. Anyone who was even remotely responsible for an injury can be held liable for their proportionate share of the damage. If you were mostly responsible for provoking the dog, you could lose your right to seek compensation. In other cases, your settlement can be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
Contributory fault in Florida can make it much more difficult to recover fair compensation. While young kids can’t be held responsible for their actions, adults can be. If someone is blaming you for causing the dog to bite, you’ll need an experienced attorney in your corner.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites and animal attacks can inflict serious injuries. That’s especially true if the victim was a small child or was knocked to the ground in the attack.
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, our lawyers are prepared to help you fight for compensation for all of your injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Back injuries
The most severe dog bite injuries have the potential to be catastrophic or even fatal. If you were attacked by a dog, our St. Petersburg dog bite attorneys can help. Reach out to our legal team today. We’ll help you schedule a free case review so you can get the legal advice you deserve.
How Do I Prove Liability After a Dog Bite in Florida?
Florida dog owners can be held strictly liable for dog bite injuries. In other words, victims aren’t always required to prove the owner was negligent to seek compensation.
Some states follow a “one bite rule” where dog owners can only be held liable if their dog has bitten someone else in the past. Florida doesn’t have a one bite rule.
Dog owners can be strictly liable for injuries under Florida dog bite laws if:
- Their dog bit you
- The person owned the dog in question
- You were in a public place or lawfully on private property when you were bitten
You aren’t required to prove that the owner knew about the dog’s dangerous or vicious propensities to recover damages. However, there are limitations to this strict liability law.
Dog owners won’t be strictly liable for damages if:
- The owner prominently displayed a “bad dog” sign on the property and the victim was at least six years old
- You somehow provoked the dog
- A dog’s attack caused your injuries, but the dog didn’t actually bite you
- You were trespassing when you sustained the dog bite injury
In these cases, it may still be possible to recover compensation based on negligence theories.
Recovering Damages for Dog Bite Injuries Based on Negligence
It’s possible to hold a dog owner liable for negligence if:
- The owner violated St. Petersburg leash laws and failed to keep the dog on a leash in public
- The dog wasn’t confined in a fenced or enclosed area while on the owner’s private property
- The dog was allowed to roam the neighborhood
- The dog was classified as a dangerous dog under Florida law
Dog owners who know about the animal’s dangerous propensities and fail to take proper precautions can be held liable when others are hurt.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Florida?
Florida restricts the amount of time you have to take legal action after sustaining an injury. Dog bite victims typically have either two years (if the incident happened on or after 3/24/2023) or four years (if it happened before that date) to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, this statute of limitations may be extended if the victim is a minor.
Our lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can make sure your dog bite claim is filed on time. Just give us a quick call today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Contact a St. Petersburg Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you or a loved one injured by a dog bite or attack in St. Petersburg? Our lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you demand fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced St. Petersburg dog bite lawyer.
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