Dog Bite Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
Dog bites are extremely common in the United States. Nearly 5 million people are attacked and bitten by dogs every year, which is approximately 13,000 bites every day. The death count for dog attacks in the United States has reached 16. Insurance companies have attested that dog attacks result in $1 to $2 billion in costs every year.
Most of these attacks do not involve stray dogs, but dogs whose owners are negligent and who have failed to properly control or restrain their pets. An owner may leave their dog to roam freely in an unfenced yard, allowing the animal to attack a pedestrian passing by. Or the owner may take their dog on a walk without securing them to a leash, again allowing them to attack other people or animals in the vicinity.
If you have suffered bite wounds in a dog attack, it is recommended that you consult with a personal injury attorney at Weinstein & Scharf, P.A. Our legal team possesses over 86 years of combined experience, and we put that experience to use in seeking the most favorable resolution possible for our bite victim clients. We will do our utmost in an effort to seek justice on your behalf, and obtain the maximum compensation possible. As many dog bite injuries are extremely dangerous and prone to serious infection, as well as causing permanent damage and disfigurement, the compensation sought must reflect these serious damages.
What to Do After a Dog Attack
What steps can you take towards justice and recovery after a dog attack occurs? First, identify the dog and its owner. The dog's owner may want to submit an insurance claim. Report the animal attack to the local animal authority and your local police department. Gather evidence that proves you were attacked- take photographs, find eye witnesses, save any ruined clothing and get the medical confirmation of a doctor.
Under Section 767.04 of Florida's dog bite statute, dog owners are held strictly liable for any attack that occurs. There are many grounds that can help you win damages in a dog attack case and these include:
- Negligence: The lack of ordinary care that a reasonable person would give
- Negligence per se: If the dog owner violated a statute (leash laws, trespassing laws, etc.)
- Scienter: A victim can recover compensation from an owner if his/her dog has previously attacked a victim or if the owner was aware of the dog's dangerous tendencies
- Landlord liability: If an attack occurs on a landlord's property, a landlord can be held responsible, if he/she did not enforce the rules expressed in a contract
- If your child was under 6 years of age and attacked, he/she cannot be partially to blame (comparative negligence) and will more likely be able to collect damages
- Even if a non-bite attack occurred, Florida imposes statutes that make a dog owner liable for "any damage" sustained by a victim
Victims should keep in mind that an owner is not automatically liable if the victim was 6 years or older, if the attack occurred on the owner's property or if there was a sign posted saying "Bad Dog" or "Beware of Dog."
Why hire a dog bite lawyer?
It is in your best interests to hire an attorney who can pursue compensation that is measured against the injuries and other damages in your dog bite case, and fight for a favorable outcome as quickly as possible. We know how frightening and dangerous dog bite injuries are and are committed to protecting your right to compensation. Contact an attorney from our firm right away if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog.