Port St. Lucie Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites send more than 300,000 people to the emergency room each year, and many patients will need stitches, antibiotics, and possibly surgery. At Smith, Ball & Báez, our legal team can help you make a legal claim for compensation. Nobody should suffer the pain and inconvenience caused by a dog bite, especially one that leaves scarring and other disfigurement. Call our Port St. Lucie dog bite lawyer to schedule a consultation. We can discuss how much compensation to seek and whether you have a strong legal basis to make a claim against the dog owner or a different party.
When Can You Sue for a Dog Bite?
Florida’s dog bite statute provides the strongest basis for seeking compensation. This law is a “strict liability” statute, which means an owner is automatically liable if you are bitten by a dog and you are in public or lawfully on private property. The law does not require that you show the owner was careless in how they restrained the dog. You also don’t need to show the dog had a history of vicious behavior.
If successful, we can seek compensation for:
- Medical treatment. Some dog bites only require stitches, but others can become infected. A horrifying dog attack could lead to substantial blood loss and require surgery or amputation.
- Lost income. If you can’t work after the attack, the owner should pay to cover your lost wages. After all, that is only fair.
- Pain and suffering. Dog bites are physically painful, and an attack can leave emotional scars. Scars on the face or arms can lead to embarrassment and difficulty adjusting to life.
Typically, we make a claim on the owner’s homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy. These usually cover dog attacks.
An owner has some defenses they can raise. For example, they might argue you were on the property unlawfully, such as trespassing. Or they could argue you were tormenting the dog by kicking it, and therefore bear some or all responsibility for the attack. The law also states that an owner can avoid liability in many cases if they post a “Bad Dog” sign in a visible location on the property.
We might also sue someone other than the owner, depending on your case. For example, you might sue someone who voluntarily took possession of the dog, such as a kennel. A landlord might also be liable in some situations if a tenant’s dog attacks someone. Our lawyers fully review the facts to see if you can sue for injuries.
Seek Legal Advice
Obtaining compensation for a dog bite isn’t as simple as many people hope. An insurer might argue the dog is excluded under the policy or that your injuries are not as painful as you claim. This is where a lawyer from Smith, Ball & Báez is so helpful. We have brought many claims for dog bite victims—and we are eager to hear from you about your case. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our Port St. Lucie dog bite lawyers.