The potential for disfigurement, scarring, and permanent impairment can be high in dog bite cases. Fortunately, under state law, a New Port Richey dog bite lawyer may be able to help you pursue dog owners and others for fair compensation.
A personal injury lawyer could investigate the facts and determine who is responsible for your injuries. Local ordinances regarding the confinement of dogs, dangerous dog designations, and the events that led up to the attack may all be relevant in handling your case. While you focus on your medical treatment and emotional wellbeing, legal counsel may be able to handle the details of your legal claims.
Liability for Animal Attack Injuries
Florida Statutes §767.04 specifically addresses liability in dog bite injury claims. This statute provides that dog owners are strictly liable for the costs of any injuries their pets cause to others. In a strict liability case, it is irrelevant whether the dog ever bit anyone before or if the dog owner knew the dog was vicious or would bite.
Landlords or property owners might also face liability in a dog bite injury claim. For instance, if landlords know that tenants have a vicious dog whom they regularly allow to run free, the landlords might share in some liability. A dog bite lawyer in New Port Richey may be able to assess your situation and identify all potentially liable parties.
Exceptions to Liability in Dog Bite Claims
Dog owners are responsible for paying compensation to injury victims of dog bites, whether the incidents occurred on private or public property. One exception to strict liability, however, might be for trespassers. If an individual suffered a dog bite while unlawfully present on private property, then the dog owners may not be liable, depending on the circumstances. Likewise, injury victims may not be able to pursue compensation if they provoked the dog.
If a victim is somewhat responsible for their own injuries, they may still be able to collect damages due the principle of pure comparative negligence. However, their compensation would decrease according to their percentage of fault.
Recoverable Damages After a Dog Attack
Dog bite victims can easily sustain severe injuries that may require surgical intervention and months or even years of treatment. For example, dog bites are prone to infection, which can lead to other medical problems. Dog bites are also likely to cause scarring and disfigurement, which may require skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and other medical treatment. All of these medical expenses are compensable in a dog bite claim.
Additionally, injury victims may be eligible to recover non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and the debilitating fears that can arise after a severe dog bite can also qualify injury victims for compensation. A dog bite attorney in New Port Richey may be able to help you claim all compensation to which you are entitled.
Call a New Port Richey Dog Bite Attorney for Advice
Victims have a limited timeframe in which they must file their personal injury claims stemming from a dog attack. A failure to meet the appropriate statute of limitations may result in a dismissal of the case. A New Port Richey dog bite lawyer can help protect your right to pursue a claim and work to obtain compensation on your behalf.
Dog bites can be complex cases that necessitate legal assistance. Instead of trying to cope with your injuries, financial concerns, and legal issues, allow legal counsel to remove some of the burden from your shoulders. Call today to get started.