What You Need to Do After a Dog Bite and How An Attorney Can Help
Dogs are a “human’s best friend.” They provide their owners with endless companionship and love. However, even the most loyal dog can cause devastating personal injuries and extensive property damage. Individuals who suffer a bite can end up with significant wounds and expenses, usually by no fault of their own. That is why if you are from Gainesville and you’ve been injured by a dog bite, our legal team of Gainesville personal injury lawyers at Meldon Law wants to help you by discussing the legal remedies you may be able to pursue.
What Can I Do After a Dog Bite?
Under Florida law, if a dog bites you, you can recover compensation for your damages even if the dog’s owner did not know the dog had aggressive tendencies, and even if the owner did nothing wrong. However, if the owner knew about the dog’s propensity to bite, then you may also have a claim against the dog’s owner based on their negligent failure to prevent the injury.
After a dog bite, as the victim, there are a few legal remedies that you can pursue. Whether you have your attorney try to resolve things directly with the dog’s owner, or you decide to pursue a legal course of action by filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance company, a knowledgeable dog bite attorney can handle each of these processes for you while also determining which avenue is the best course of action in your case.
What Do I Do After a Dog Bite?
Dog bite accidents are common no matter where you live. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Health, there were 499 reported dog bites just in Alachua County in 2018, which resulted in many devastating injuries and even a few deaths. Even though dog bites are dangerous and result in a lot of problems, it is essential to remember that as a victim of such an attack, you do have certain rights, especially in Gainesville.
And by taking the following actions, you can help ensure that your rights are protected.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you think that the bite is not extreme, it is still essential to seek medical attention. By having a doctor examine you as soon as possible, you’ll minimize your risk of infection and rabies, as well as severe scarring. Besides, getting your wounds on record can help your claim against the insurance company or the dog’s owner later on.
- Verify vaccinations: For your safety, if the owner is present, make sure you verify whether the dog had all the proper vaccinations required in Gainesville. Also, if possible, try to find out if the dog has ever bitten anyone before.
- Collect evidence: After a dog bite incident, it is vital to collect as much evidence as possible. Take photos or a video of the dog bite scene, including any visible injuries you have. If any witnesses are present, write down their names and phone numbers so that they can provide a statement later, if needed, which could help strengthen your case. Finally, call the police to file a report so that they can collect information about the incident as well.
- Watch what you say: One of the most critical takeaways after a dog bite accident is to watch what you say. After filing a claim against the liable party’s insurer, the insurance company assigned to your case will contact you to get more information about the incident. Even though it may seem like they are trying to help, their goal is to save themselves money. They will try to obtain information that makes it sound that you bear some fault for the accident, which will allow them to reduce the amount that they have to pay you. Remember, when the insurance company calls, you do not have to discuss anything with them; you can inform them that your attorney will answer their questions.
What Injuries Do Dog Bites Result In?
Each dog bite injury is unique; however, some frequent dog bite injuries include:
- Torn Ligaments
- Torn Muscles
- Facial Disfigurement
- Severe Flesh Wounds
Depending on the circumstances of the bite, you may have to deal with extensive medical treatment, which can include surgeries, rehab, and even at-home care services. These injuries can result in large medical bills, as well as lost wages while you are out of work recovering. A knowledgeable dog bite attorney can help you pursue reimbursement for these costs and lost earnings and make sure that your compensation covers your estimated future expenses.
Why Do You Need to Call Our Gainesville Dog Bite Attorneys?
There is a big misconception that dogs get a free bite. However, in Gainesville, every owner has a duty to ensure that their dog does not pose any imminent harm to anyone. That is why if you have suffered injuries due to a dog bite, you should call an experienced Gainesville dog bite attorney immediately to get the legal help that you need.
We can help you to determine:
- Damages: Often, the insurance company and the dog owner do not want to admit fault, or they try to pay compensation that is significantly less than your damages. You cannot take this chance. You need an attorney fighting for you. They can go after the damages that you require to cover all of your expenses and medical costs.
- Who bears you liability: In certain instances, more people are at fault for the dog bite than just the dog’s owner. Your attorney can investigate the accident and help you go after the people at fault for the incident, including possibly the landlord, the dog’s rescue group, and even a friend or ex-spouse that co-owns the dog.
At Meldon Law, you deserve justice, and we want to help try to get that for you. If you suffered a dog bite, we want to provide you with the answers and assistance that you need. With two decades of personal injury experience, dedication, and skills, we are here to fight for the injured. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys, contact our Gainesville office for a free consultation at (352) 373-8000 today.