Many Boca Raton residents enjoy the companionship of animals like cats and dogs. Even those who don’t have a family pet may interact with animals in other settings, like stopping to pet a neighbor’s dog. Some interactions can end in serious injury. When a pet is sick, scared, or tired, it may lash out by biting or scratching. The resulting injuries may require expensive treatment that requires you to miss work and scramble to offset lost wages.
If you have been injured after being attacked by someone else’s pet, you may have grounds to collect compensation for your damages with the help of a personal injury attorney. Consulting a reputable Boca Raton dog bite lawyer will give you a better idea of what the circumstances of your dog bite attack mean for what damages you may be eligible to recover.
KMW LEGAL CAN HELP WITH YOUR DOG BITE LAWSUIT
The award-winning lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have built a word-of-mouth reputation based on our tenacious advocacy for injured dog or other animal bite victims. We have earned the trust of injured Boca Raton residents through our tireless dedication to pursuing maximum compensation that acknowledges the reality of their financial and emotional losses.
KMW Legal has extensive experience in negotiating settlements for injured dog bite victims against powerful insurance companies. If your settlement cannot be fairly resolved through negotiation, KMW Legal will not hesitate to take your dog bite lawsuit to trial to recover the damages you deserve.
After being severely injured by a dog, cat, or other pet, you may be hesitant to bring a dog bite lawsuit against the owner to collect damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress, especially if you have a personal relationship with the owner. That is why it is important to select a dog bite lawyer in Boca Raton who not only has a successful record of negotiating fair settlements but also acknowledges the sensitivity required to navigate these types of claims.
We will develop a customized strategy to negotiate a settlement that takes into account the physical, financial, and emotional toll that your injuries have taken on you and your family. You can also count on us to calculate the value of your damages, conduct our own inquiry into the circumstances of the dog or other animal attack, draft statements and a letter of demand, and represent your interests to the best of our ability.
To give your dog bite lawsuit the best chance of success, we encourage you to reach out to request a free strategy session with our Boca Raton team to learn more about the services we offer. We will help you determine what damages you may be entitled to recover in a dog bite lawsuit.
DOG BITES CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES
The severity of a dog bite attack can range widely. Some require a bandaid or a few stitches, while others can result in broken bones and disfigurement. In many cases, the sharp teeth and claws of a household pet can do a lot of damage by lacerating or even puncturing the skin; causing permanent scarring or severe infection.
At KMW legal, we have also handled cases where a severely injured dog bite victim sustained broken bones or head injuries after being knocked to the ground by an animal attempting to maul them. In addition to physical injuries, people who have sustained a dog bite or other animal attack often have lasting emotional trauma. For example, dog bite victims may develop severe anxiety or PTSD around animals. They may also experience shame and a loss of confidence from being disfigured after being mauled.
Examples of Dog Bite-Related Injuries
- Severe lacerations and puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
Seek Medical Help After a Dog or Animal Bite
You should get checked out by a medical professional if a dog bite breaks the skin or you are otherwise injured while trying to defend yourself. Minor injuries may be more serious than they appear, and the only way to know for sure is to seek out a professional opinion. For example, serious infections like rabies can be transmitted between animals and humans through a bite.
Having a record that you sought medical treatment is important to maintaining the integrity of your dog bite lawsuit. If you can verify that you sight prompt medical assistance, insurance companies cannot say that you delayed treatment because you exaggerated your injuries. A skilled dog bite lawyer in Boca Raton can help you compile the necessary medical records to demonstrate the extent of your injuries.
PET OWNERS CAN BE LIABLE UNDER FLORIDA’S STRICT LIABILITY STATUTES
Florida’s strict liability statute applies in cases of dog bite incidents. What this means is that under state law, pet owners can be held liable for the behavior of their pets if the animal injures someone else. If you are seeking to recover damages from a pet owner in a dog bite lawsuit, you do not need to prove that they were negligent in any way, as their responsibility for their pet applies regardless. An attorney in Boca Raton could further explain the laws related to dog bite claims.
The value of your settlement can be rejected or reduced proportionately according to your contribution to the situation if one of the following circumstances applies:
- The incident involved a military or police dog serving its role
- You intentionally tried to provoke or torment the animal
- You trespassed onto private property without an expressed or implied invitation from the owner
- There was a clearly displayed sign warning of the dog’s demeanor unless the injured party was under age 6 or the owner was negligent in the control of their pet
Negligent Owners May be Found Liable for Damages
As established in Florida law, pet owners are responsible for the actions of their pets. They are expected to reduce the risk of their animal injuring someone else by taking precautions and observing laws for pets, such as Palm Beach County’s leash laws and rules for dog parks. These are examples of how a pet owner can fulfill their obligation to the public to perform their duty of care.
When a pet owner is negligent in the control of their pet, and it results in injury, the negligent pet owner may be held responsible for the damages of the injured party. The damages are typically paid out of the pet owner’s homeowners insurance policy.
Pet Owners Who Commit Intentional Torts are Responsible for Damages
Unfortunately, some pet owners may cross the line from negligent behavior into dangerous behavior that is deliberately intended to injure, which can be classified as an intentional tort. When a pet owner engages in an intentional tort that results in the injury of another party, the dog or other animal bite victim is typically eligible to collect compensation for their damages in an animal bite lawsuit.
In this context, an intentional tort may look like a pet owner using verbal commands or punishment to incite their dog to attack someone else for the purposes of distraction, intimidation, or inflicting emotional distress. Pet owners have even been known to use their animals to aid them in committing a crime.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER IN A DOG BITE LAWSUIT?
After sustaining a serious injury in a dog attack, you may be faced with hefty medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages that jeopardize your ability to make payments on a mortgage, meet rent, put food on the table, and afford necessities.
In addition to economic damages, you can also potentially recover the value of non-economic damages, which refers to more subjective losses that typically lack a formal price tag. You may undergo painful treatments to repair the damage of a dog bite or may feel completely overwhelmed by the stress of juggling recovery and financial instability. The Boca Raton attorneys at KMW Legal want you to know that both kinds of damages are legitimate in dog bite suits, and the owner of the animal that injured you is likely liable.
Examples of Dog and Other Animal Bite Damages:
- Medical bills
- Lab tests
- Ambulance rides
- Transportation to appointments
- Surgeries and reconstruction
- Hospital stays
- Mobility aids
- Home healthcare services
- Home modifications
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Costs of job retraining
- Missed promotions
- Inability to continue career
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of consortium or parental guidance
- Lost income contribution
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A DOG BITE LAWYER?
Many pet owners tend to become defensive of their pets when faced with a dog bite accident lawsuit, even when the animal has clearly inflicted harm on someone else. Without a dog bite attorney in Boca Raton to leverage medical records, present compelling evidence and witness testimony, and prove liability, you could risk walking away with a significantly smaller settlement than your damages are worth.
Beyond establishing an accurate account of events to demonstrate that the pet owner is liable, a lawyer will take over communicating with the insurance company. Insurance claims adjusters will attempt to diminish your settlement down to the bare minimum, even if that does not reflect the scope of your losses.
A quality attorney will not push you to settle for an unfair settlement. Instead, they will double down. If you have been severely injured in a dog or other animal bite attack, do not risk your settlement by choosing a lawyer who lacks the experience and resources to see your dog bite lawsuit through to s satisfactory settlement.
KMW LEGAL IS PROUD TO SERVE INJURED DOG BITE VICTIMS IN BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
Boca Raton is a coastal city located in Palm Beach County, just south of the city of West Palm Beach. It is home to 97,422 residents and sees plenty of tourist traffic thanks to its upscale shopping, mild climate, and enticing beaches. Boca Raton residents have sought out KMW Legal for expert legal advice on their dog bite lawsuits for the past decade.
At KMW Legal, we support our Boca Raton clients who have been severely injured, and we pledge to go above and beyond to support them throughout that process. Our comprehensive services and lawyers have helped many injured Boca Raton dog bite victims, and their families get their futures back on track.
CONTACT A BOCA RATON DOG BITE Attorney TODAY
At KMW Legal, we believe that dog bite clients are best served by a combination of clear communication and supportive guidance. Our former clients can testify to our dedication to injured clients, as well as our impressive results.
Insurance companies will not hesitate to bring out their best and brightest lawyers to protect their interests, and neither should you. If we cannot come to a fair settlement in negotiations, we will continue to advocate on your behalf. KMW Legal’s founding partners have backgrounds as trial lawyers that have given them essential experience in court to serve our clients well, as insurance companies typically want to avoid the price tag and publicity of a trial.
If you are considering whether or not to pursue a dog bite lawsuit, you should seek out input from an expert who has experience handling these types of claims. Reach out to our office to request a free strategy session with our exceptional team. During this initial consultation, you can expect to receive personalized legal advice on how to navigate the steps of filing a lawsuit with a Boca Raton dog bite lawyer.