Your Dog Bite / Animal Attack Injury Lawyers
Your Christian Law Firm, Dean Burnetti Law represents Dog Bite Injury Victims in Polk County, including: Lakeland, Auburndale, Bartow, Haines City, Lake Wales, Mulberry, Polk City, and Winter Haven; in Hillsborough County, including: Brandon, Tampa, and Plant City; in Pinellas County, including Clearwater, St. Pete, Gulfport, Treasure Island, Largo, Oldsmar; and all of the surrounding Greater Central Florida and West Central Florida Areas.
Psalm 34:18 - “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.”
Has an angry animal, or an animal with large teeth ever approached you? Even without being bitten, such an event causes a rush of adrenaline to course through your veins, and it takes a while for your heart to stop beating rapidly.
Regrettably, recovering from an actual animal attack takes much longer than recovering from a mere animal encounter. Even though dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, they still have animal instincts, and if they feel threatened, they may attack. Literary fans may recall that Shakespeare’s Henry VI, where he wrote, “The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on, and doves will peck in safeguard of their brood,” was what inspired the common phrase we use nowadays: “The worm has turned.” This means that even the gentlest family fur-baby may become agitated or fearful at an event such as a child’s birthday party, and may nip an unsuspecting child, causing serious harm. (Remember, all dog attacks are not caused by vicious pit bulls who escaped from their yard and are on the prowl for a victim.)
In the United States, nearly one-third of all homes have a dog as a pet. This means that our country houses more than 52,000,000 canines at any given time! The Centers for Disease Control report approximately 800,000 dog bites each year that require medical attention, 334,000 of which are severe enough to warrant treatment in a hospital. Worse yet, as many as 30 Americans die each year due to injuries sustained in a dog attack!
What this means is that in the United States, there are roughly 2,400 dog attacks that take place each day of the year, or 100 dog attacks every hour, or one every 36 seconds! These statistics are astounding!
What’s more, more than half of all dog bite victims are children. And while only 12 percent of adults require medical treatment for dog bites or attacks, more than 26 percent children who are bitten or attacked require an emergency room visit.
While the most common location of all these dog bites or attacks to occur is in the victim’s own home, the second most common location is at the home of a friend or relative of the victim. These dogs that are known to the victim account for 77 percent of all dog bites or attacks.
However, the other 23 percent of dog bites or attacks happen to strangers of the dog or dogs such as:
- Children attempting to pet a strange dog
- A random stranger attacked by a dog or dogs escaping their own yard
- Children teasing a strange dog
- Mail carriers delivering mail
- Delivery people delivering packages
- Electric or water meter readers walking in the back yard of a dog
- Construction workers working at the home of the dog
- A person walking their own dog past the home of a dog who wants to attack the dog being walked
- A person who gets in the middle of a dog attacking another animal
Luckily, when this unfortunate event happens, Florida’s Dog Bite Law (§767.04, Florida Statutes) says that the dog’s owner may be required to pay a monetary award to the victim. That’s why, if you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by an animal, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to see what your options might be, as far as recovering compensation for medical bills, scarring, mental duress, etc.
An attack by any kind of animal, large or small, is petrifying. Not only is the victim overcome with fear, but even onlookers experience a great panic. However, for the victim, even after the animal is subdued, their recovery has only just begun. It’s not uncommon for victims of animal attacks go into shock and become illogically (yet understandably) terrified of all animals, sometimes for the remainder of their lives.
If you or a loved one is attacked, obviously, the first step is to call 911 or get the victim to the emergency room as quickly as possible.
After the wounds are tended to, take photos of all physical wounds inflicted by the animal. Get close-ups of all bite wounds and scratch marks, as well as a full body photo of the victim so that the injuries can been seen in relation to the location of his or her body. Also, take photos of any blood-soaked clothing and any blood drippings left at the scene of the attack. (If you can safely get a photo of the animal, this isn’t a bad idea, either.)
If the hospital staff doesn’t take care of this for you, then you will need to contact Animal Control. Give them a description of the attack, the injuries sustained, the animal, the location, and the animal’s owner’s name and address. At this point, they may ask for the names and contact information of any eye-witnesses. If you do not have this information, it’s a good idea to obtain this as soon as possible.
Finally, you should contact an experienced dog bit or animal attack attorney such as those at Dean Burnetti Law. Dealing with the animal owner’s insurance company directly is not in your best interest. Remember, the insurance adjuster’s goal is to use any information you provide as a means to minimize your claim. An experienced attorney who is familiar with Florida’s Dog Bite Law knows how to seek everything you are entitled to receive.
Calculating your financial damages in an animal attack claim may include:
- Past and Future Medical Bills (Including Any Hospital or Emergency Room Costs)
- The Amount of Pain and Suffering Based on the Extent of Your Injuries
- The Amount of Wages Already Lost as well as Reduced Future Earning Capacity
- Any Significant Lifestyle Changes Experienced
- Funeral Costs (when the Attack was Fatal)
Sometimes, animal attacks happen while the victim is at work. (Think mail carriers, meter readers, lawn service providers, pool service providers, house painters, and handymen.) In this case, the injury may call for a Workers’ Compensation claim as well as a claim against the animal owner.
Isaiah 56:11 - “The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough...”
Call (863) 287-6388 in Polk County or (813) 287-6388 in Hillsborough County today to schedule a free confidential consultation with an attorney at Your Christian Law Firm, Dean Burnetti Law.
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We declare that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all. That the Holy Spirit abides in the midst of all within our halls. That the power of prayer is our shield and sword.
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Lakeland: (863) 287-6388
Brandon: (813) 287-6388