Compassionate Plantation Dog Bite Lawyer On Your Side
How Do Dog Bite Injuries Occur?
According to Canine Journal, a CDC study found that about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year. Of those, about 800,000 require medical care. While most of us think dog bites are rare, these statistics mean that one out of every 73 people is bitten by a dog at some point in their life. Studies have also shown that dogs that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to bite than dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.
There are many jokes and sketches about postal workers and dog bites, but the sad reality is that dog attacks on postal works are a serious matter. In 2021, 5,400 Postal Service employees were attacked by dogs.
If you’ve been attacked by a dog and have serious injuries as a result, speaking to a Plantation dog bite lawyer can be extremely helpful. Attorney Nerina Smart is ready to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf—one that covers all your injuries and damages.
What Types of Injuries Result from Dog Bites?
Dog attacks can leave the victim with relatively minor injuries, or very serious, even life-threatening injuries, including:
- Punctures resulting from the dog’s teeth piercing or puncturing your skin. The deeper the puncture wound, the higher the risk of infection.
- As many as 10-15 percent of dog bites lead to infections, often from the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. Signs of infection could include pain, redness, and swelling. The site of the infection could also feel warm to the touch. Any signs of infection should prompt you to seek medical attention.
- Rabies is the worst type of infection you can contract from a dog bite. The risk of rabies is relatively rare in the United States, but it is important that you find out whether the dog that bit you has had its rabies shots. If you don’t know whether the dog has had its rabies shots, you may have to undergo treatment for rabies as a necessary but painful precaution.
- Tetanus can also occur following a dog bite. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, check on your tetanus shot status, and get a booster if necessary.
- A large dog can exert a tremendous amount of force with their jaws that can crush, break, or fracture bones as well as injure soft tissues and muscles. Avulsion occurs when the dog rips or tears tissues away from the body. Avulsion injuries are extremely serious, often leading to lifelong scarring and emotional issues.
- Scarring can occur from relatively minor bites as well as when more serious bites occur. Extensive scarring, particularly in the face area, can cause significant levels of pain and suffering.
- Emotional trauma and the post-traumatic stress that can affect someone long-term that has been bitten by a dog.
What Should You Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog?
Taking certain steps following a dog bite can both protect your health as well as protect your rights and financial future. Your first action should always be to get to a safe place. Next, seek medical attention for your injuries. Call 911 and wait for an ambulance. If you are bleeding profusely apply pressure and do your best to slow the bleeding. While you are waiting for an ambulance—and if you are medically able—try to find out who the owner of the animal that bit you is. Rabies shots can be painful, so having the animal’s vaccination records could potentially spare you from this process.
If there were witnesses to the dog bite, obtain contact information for them, and if the dog has been contained by the owner, snap photos with your phone of the dog, the owner, and the scene of the attack. Obtain contact and insurance information from the owner of the dog. Don’t make any statements to the dog owner regarding responsibility, and never agree to be interviewed or recorded by the owner’s insurance company. It’s also important to record the exact location of the bite and the address, as well as contact Animal Control to file a report.
As soon as you have attended to your injuries, contact a Plantation dog bite lawyer from The Law Offices of Nerina Smart, P.A. We’ll make sure you have the time to heal from your injuries while we take care of the legal details.
What Rights Do You Have Under Florida Law If You Are Bitten by a Dog?
In the state of Florida, the dog owner is held liable for a dog bite since Florida is a strict liability state. This is true even if the owner was not previously aware that the dog could be aggressive. Under Florida law, you are not required to prove your injuries are the result of the owner’s negligence. You must only prove that you were in a public place—or lawfully on private property—and that the dog attacked you. You could potentially collect under both criminal laws and civil laws for your dog bite injuries.
There is a dangerous dog statute in Florida that requires a known dangerous dog to be registered with local authorities and kept in a secure location marked with dangerous dog warning signs. If the dog is taken off the premises, it must be restrained with both a muzzle and a leash. The designation of “dangerous dog” results from a dog that has aggressively attacked, bitten, or caused severe injury to a person, a dog that has injured or killed another animal on more than one occasion, or a dog that has chased or aggressively approached a person with no provocation.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Dog Bite Injuries?
Unfortunately, dog bite victims who are not legally represented rarely get compensated. This means that without a lawyer you have little chance of obtaining justice. Typically, the insurance adjuster will offer you 10-20 percent of what they would have offered if you had an attorney. You pay your attorney nothing until the case settles, so there is really no downside to hiring an attorney to represent you following a dog bite attack.
If the dog that is the subject of the attack belongs to a neighbor, friend, or a relative, it’s much better for your attorney to deal with their insurance company. This takes much of the emotion out of the situation. An experienced Plantation dog bite lawyer knows how to present a case to the insurance company, so your claim is resolved quickly, and fairly.
How a Plantation Dog Bite Lawyer from The Law Offices of Nerina Smart, P.A. Can Help
The Law Offices of Nerina Smart, P.A., are conveniently located in the heart of Broward County. We serve those with legal needs throughout the state of Florida, concentrating on personal injury claims. Our mission is to provide the highest-quality legal services to our clients, providing experience and dedication to every case we take. We are proud of the fact that we provide highly personalized attention to your unique legal issues.
When life brings you challenges, choosing the right attorney for your dog bite injuries is extremely important. Attorney Nerina Smart will break down your case so you clearly understand the process, bringing compassion, problem-solving skills, and legal knowledge to the table. Contact The Law Offices of Nerina Smart, P.A., today.