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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / Boca Raton Dog Bite Lawyer

Boca Raton Dog Bite Lawyer

The average dog bite settlement has increased significantly since coronavirus lockdowns ended. During the lockdowns, many people bought “pandemic puppies” who weren’t used to being around people and were therefore nervous and aggressive in public. Now, pandemic puppies are large dogs. These large dogs often inflict serious physical and emotional wounds on victims, as outlined below. Owners cannot make excuses when their dogs bite people, because owners have a duty of care.

The compassionate Boca Raton dog bite lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez understand the intense pain and suffering these injuries cause. Many of the people on our professional team have experienced similar things in their lives. This compassion and understanding motivates us to work extra hard to obtain the financial compensation these families need and deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Animal Attack Injuries

Most personal injuries, including dog bites, cause physical and emotional injuries. It’s very hard to say which is worse.

Physical dog bite wounds usually start with head injuries, broken bones, and other knockdown-related injuries. These injuries are especially common if, as is usually the case, a large dog attacks a small child or other vulnerable victim.

Then, when dogs bite, their teeth usually cause severe surface lacerations and deep puncture wounds.

The lacerations usually require extensive, and expensive, treatment at speciality trauma centers. This treatment usually includes reconstructive surgery. Deep puncture wounds often pierce internal organs. The resulting internal bleeding is hard to detect and even harder to stop.

Not surprisingly, the severe physical injuries often cause severe emotional injuries, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD symptoms include:

  • Depression,
  • Hypervigilance,
  • Anger,
  • Nightmares, and
  • Flashbacks.

Such symptoms make it almost impossible to function normally at school, work, home, or anywhere else.

PTSD is a physical brain injury. Extreme stress creates a chemical imbalance in the mind which causes the aforementioned symptoms. Since PTSD has a chemical cause, most victims need PTSD drugs. However, these drugs are very powerful, and not everyone can tolerate them.

Your Legal Options

Dog bite victims in Florida have several legal options. A Boca Raton dog bite lawyer must carefully weigh the pros and cons of each one.

  • Strict Liability: Owners are liable for bite injuries even if they weren’t negligent and even if they didn’t know the animal was potentially dangerous. However, this law doesn’t apply to knockdown injuries. Furthermore, it’s so broad that many pet owners dislike it.
  • Scienter (Knowledge): Owners are liable for bite injuries if they knew the animal was vicious and didn’t properly control it. Pre-bite behavior, like aggressive barking, usually establishes such knowledge. Even pet owners agree with this law, but it obviously only applies in some situations.
  • Negligence: Either the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule could apply. Ordinary negligence is a lack of care. Teachers are negligent if they let small children play near strange dogs. Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, and most other cities and counties also have animal restraint laws. If an unrestrained dog causes injury, the owner could be liable for damages as a matter of law.

Provocation is the most common defense in animal attack cases. This defense rarely holds up in court. In this context, provoking an animal is a physical act that’s almost like torturing an animal.

Connect With a Diligent Palm Beach County Dog Bite Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced distracted driving accident lawyer in Boca Raton, contact Smith, Ball, Baez & Prather, Florida Injury Lawyers. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.