If you are looking for a lawyer for a dog bite attack our Tampa dog bite injury lawyers are here to help you. You may have mounting medical bills, you may be experiencing a painful injury, or you may have anxiety being around dogs. Or you may just want to make sure this does not happen to someone else. Regardless of the issues, we will do everything we can to hold accountable the dog owner and any other person or entity responsible in the Tampa Bay area for your injuries. You can call our attorneys at (813) 259-0022 for a free consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite injury lawyer serving Tampa, call (813) 259-0022
How a Tampa Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Can Help
For many people, dogs are loyal and friendly companions who can do no wrong. However, when a dog is not properly trained and or supervised, bad things can happen. Each year, countless dog attacks are reported. Sometimes they cause minor injuries that will heal with time. On the other hand, many dog attacks will leave a person with painful, serious injuries and emotional scars. If this happens, you should immediately call a qualified personal injury attorney to investigate your dog bite injury.
Our dog bite injury lawyers can help in many ways. First, we will listen to what happened and gather the evidence necessary to make sure the responsible party is held accountable. Important evidence to gather includes:
- Photos of the area where the dog bite occurred
- Photos to prove whether warning signs were posted
- Photos of injuries
- Medical bills and medical records
- Animal control reports about the dog
- Witness statements about what they saw and heard
Once our attorneys and staff have gathered all the evidence, we will analyze it, organize it, and prepare a written report to tell a compelling story about what happened to you and why the person or entity responsible for the dog must compensate you for your injuries. Most of the time we can successfully negotiate a fair settlement using this document and the evidence we have collected. However, if the other side is unreasonable, we may have to file a dog bite injury lawsuit to prove your case. If we have to file a lawsuit, that does not mean your case will go to trial. Most cases settle well before that happens. However, if your case has to go to a trial, we have the resources and the trial skills to present your case to a jury. That fact alone often convinces the other side to do the right thing and resolve your case.
Tampa Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Near Me (813) 259-0022
What You Can Do to Help Your Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
After you make sure all injuries are evaluated by the appropriate medical provider, you should immediately report a dog bite in Tampa to Hillsborough Animal Control. Reporting the incident is very important for several reasons. First, Hillsborough County Animal Safety and Enforcement will document what happened before important evidence is destroyed. In addition, their investigators will interview everyone involved to ensure witness recollections are preserved. Their investigation will often identify whether the dog was involved in any other dog attacks, whether the dog was vicious, and whether the owner had knowledge of the dog’s past behaviors. Lastly, they will cite the dog owner for what happened and make sure corrective measures are taken. All of this will be very helpful to your Tampa dog bite injury lawyer.
Next, you should take photographs of anything and everything you think might be important. Things to take photographs of include:
- The area where it happened
- Any signs that might be up
- The dog
- Your injuries
Finally, you should get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of anyone that might have witnessed the event or have knowledge of the dangerous or vicious nature of the dog.
You should not hesitate to bring a claim or feel bad for doing so. Most of the time it is the dog owners’ fault and not yours. There is nothing wrong with holding them accountable for what happened. It is so important that dog owners behave responsibly. This includes training and supervising their dogs. When a dog is outside, it should be kept in fenced-in yards or be leashed when they are walked. It is up to the dog owner to ensure that the dog is properly restrained and that an attack or a bite does not occur. When dog owners fail to exercise caution, they are behaving negligently, and they place the general public at great risk.
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What a Tampa Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Has to Prove
All dog bite cases in Florida are controlled by Florida Statutes §767.04. This statute applies regardless of whether the bite occurred in a public place like a park or at the owner’s house. As the statute describes, all dog owners are strictly liable for any dog bite injury caused by their dog if the bite happens in a public place or the person is lawfully on private property. This means you may only have to prove the bite occurred and the extent of your injuries. Most of the time, you do not have to prove the owner was negligent or that the dog has a history of biting. The only time you would have to prove these things is if the owner had signs posted that say “Bad Dog” or something similar. You can learn more about Florida dog bite injury law here.
But it’s not just the dog owner that can be held responsible. We can hold any property owner that knew or should have known of the dangerous propensities of the dog and did nothing. This might include the property owner where the dog attack occurred, landlords, and apartment complex owners.
The most important thing to prove is the extent of your damages. These damages may include:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones and fractures
- Emotional trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages in the past and into the future
Often the best witnesses to prove your damages will be your healthcare providers. Orthopedic surgeons can talk about broken bones, plastic surgeons can talk about scarring and possible scar repair surgery, and mental health professionals can talk about psychological damages such as PTSD.
The personal injury attorneys at Distasio Law Firm know how to handle dog bite cases. Let us gather the evidence and prove your case. But do not wait too long. All dog bite injury cases must be brought within four years from the event or two years from a death. If you fail to bring your case within this time frame, you may never be able to do so.
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Who Can Pay for Your Injuries
Most property owners have purchased some type of liability insurance. In most circumstances, the homeowner’s insurance of the dog owner will provide coverage even if the dog bite did not occur at the home. However, sometimes homeowner’s insurance will have a specific exclusion for dog bites. In those circumstances, some homeowners will have the ability to pay for what happened. If not, there may be no way to compensate you for your injuries.
When the dog bite happens on property that is owned by someone other than the dog owner, that property owner and or their liability insurance may be responsible. Common places that dog bites occur outside the home include parks, businesses, and apartment complexes.
For your free consultation, call us today at (813) 259-0022.