Dogs may be man’s best friend, but occasionally they are the subjects of personal injury cases. If a dog bites or attacks another person, the dog’s owner can be held responsible for their pet’s behavior.
In such cases, it is important for the injured victim to hire a personal injury attorney to represent them. Filing a personal injury claim is important if you’ve suffered serious injury or have expensive medical bills.
A personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process and earn you the compensation you deserve.
Here is everything you need to know about filing a personal injury claim for an animal attack.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After an Animal Attack
When filing a personal injury claim after an animal attack, it’s crucial to know the local regulations around animal restraint. In the state of Florida, there is no state-wide leash law in effect.
However, this does not mean that Florida dog owners can let their pets run loose at all times. Leash laws in Florida are controlled by the counties rather than the state. So most Florida counties do, in fact, have a mandatory leash law in effect.
Local leash laws are important in cases where a dog attack occurs in a public place. If an unleashed dog attacks an individual or another individual’s pet in public, that dog’s owner is liable for damages.
However, not all dog attacks occur in public places. When a pet is on or near their property, the owner must still apply necessary restraints on their pet. Therefore a dog owner can still be liable even if the attack occurs on their own property.
If you have decided to file a personal injury claim, you will want to understand the process. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is four years from the date of the incident.
While many animal attack victims file sooner than this, the extended time frame allows you to assess any lasting damage.
Documenting Your Claim
Documenting your claim is a fundamental part of any personal injury case. So whether you wait four years to file your claim, or four days, documenting injuries, damages, and medical expenses matters.
This can also include any property that was damaged in the incident, such as glasses or a phone. It can also be important to identify any witnesses of the attack who can corroborate your story.
It is also important to determine whether or not the dog’s owner was negligent as part of your personal injury case. Even in cases where a playful dog inadvertently injures somebody, the dog’s owner can still be liable for damages.
However, negligence on the part of the owner is typically helpful to the victim’s case.
Animal Attack Personal Injury Cases
Once everything is with the court, your personal injury case can begin. During personal injury cases, the court reviews all relevant documentation to determine the severity of the case.
Depending on various circumstances, some or all of the victim’s medical expenses can be covered. Victims may also be reimbursed for other hardships, such as loss of employment or lasting injury.
The length of personal injury cases can also vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. Some cases are settled within a matter of months, while others can drag on for several years.
Thorough documentation can usually help speed up a personal injury case. But even if you document all injuries, expenses, and damages, some cases can still drag on for multiple years.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether your case is complex or straightforward, hiring a personal injury lawyer is always the correct decision. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you navigate the more complicated areas of your case during your difficult times. And when the time comes for a settlement, a skilled personal injury attorney will get you the compensation you deserve.
Wood, Atter & Wolf is one of Florida’s most trusted personal injury law firms. If you or a loved one has suffered injury from an animal attack, contact us today.
What Can You Do?
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as the result of an animal attack and are concerned about the long-term emotional and financial consequences, you need to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to learn about all of your options.
Our Jacksonville personal injury law firm will work to protect your legal rights and pursue rightful compensation for long term medical bills, wage loss, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of life.