According to a SafeWise study, Florida is considered one of the top ten most pet-friendly states. That is why it is no surprise that the area is filled with numerous dog-friendly parks such as Lake Druid’s Dog Park and Lake Baldwin Park. However, just because most residents in Orlando consider their furry companion a part of the family, it does not mean their dogs will never bite.
That is why if you have been injured because of a dog attack or dog bite in Orlando, you deserve justice for the harm you endured. For these reasons, you need to reach out to an Orlando dog bite lawyer, such as those at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, as soon as possible. At the law firm of Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our legal team is here for you, ready to provide you the legal services you need and help you go after the justice and compensation you need.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
If s dog bit or attacked you in Orlando, the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, will meet with you one-on-one to discuss what happened and explain how we can help you in this situation. We could also quickly identify all the potential sources of compensation we can pursue and fight vigorously to get you the maximum financial recovery you deserve.
As a result, because of our resources, dedication, and experience, we have secured millions of dollars on our client’s behalf through settlement awards and jury verdicts.
Liability For Dog Bites and Attacks in Orlando
Florida is a strict liability state, meaning you can hold a dog’s owner liable for a dog bite, even if the owner was not aware that their dog had an aggressive nature. These laws also indicate that the victim of a dog bite does not need to prove that the harm they sustained was due to the dog owner’s negligence. Instead, under these laws, the owner can be held responsible for the victim’s injuries if the victim can show the dog bit them and they were either lawfully on private property or in a public space.
Yet, if a victim is injured under different circumstances than those indicated, you can still bring a claim against the dog’s owner. However, in these cases, you will need to show that the dog’s owner acted negligently or failed to use reasonable care and consequently caused this injury.
Typically, a dog bite victim can recover compensation for their harm under one of these legal claims:
- Doctrine of Scienter: This provision allows you to hold anyone with knowledge of a dog’s attempted bites and a dog’s attack history responsible for the damages that result.
- Negligence: If an owner is negligent, which means they failed to provide the level of care that another reasonable individual would have under the same circumstances.
- Negligence per se: You can hold a dog’s owner liable if they violated regulations to protect and ensure the general public’s safety.
- Intentional: You can pursue a claim if the dog’s owner intended the dog to attack you.
If a dog has attacked you, the best way to determine if you can pursue compensation for your injuries is to reach out to an Orlando dog bite attorney, like those at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. These lawyers can review the details of your case and determine if you have a viable claim.
Dangerous Dog Statute—What Does This Mean for Victims in Orlando
In Florida, a dangerous dog is one that:
- Aggressively attacks, bites, or causes severe injury to an individual. In addition, any attempt to endanger a person can also be considered dangerous behavior.
- Seriously injures or kills another animal more than once.
- Chases or aggressively approached another individual without being provoked.
If a dog is considered dangerous, the dog’s owner must take specific precautions regarding their dog or animal. If they do not, and their dangerous dog causes any injuries, the owner can be held criminally liable for the incident. In addition, according to Florida’s laws, the dangerous dog must be registered with the local authorities and stay in a secure location such as an enclosed pen or structure appropriately marked with a dangerous dog warning sign. If the dog is off the premises, it must be restrained with a muzzle, leash, or harness.
If a dangerous dog has attacked you, you should reach out to an Orlando dog bite attorney and let them determine what your legal options are and help you seek the money you need for your medical bills and other expenses resulting from the incident. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today.
Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries in Orlando
Unfortunately, when a dog bites or attacks another individual, the injuries can be catastrophic and include a wide range of harm.
However, some of the more common injuries that tend to result from a dog bite include:
- Abrasions such as grazes or scrapes
- Deep lacerations
- Significant puncture wounds
- Diseases such as rabies or tetanus
- Crushing injuries, including broken bones and severing of muscles
- Avulsions, which means the tearing or ripping of skin or tissue away from the body
- Facial trauma and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Eye injuries
Actions to Take After a Dog Bite Incident in Orlando
If a dog attacked you in Orlando, it is important to understand the proper steps you need to take to successfully file and succeed in your injury claim. These steps include the following:
If you require medical attention following the dog attack, you need to contact 911 immediately. This is the fastest way to alert emergency medical services that you need medical help and get authorities to the scene.
Gather Evidence From the Area
If it is safe, you should take photos or videos of your visible dog bite injuries, the scene of the accident, torn clothing, broken property, and the dog. Generally, the more evidence you have of the dog attack, the more smoothly the dog bite claim can go.
Get Information From the Dog’s Owner
If the dog’s owner is there, try to get their name, phone number, address, insurance company information, and any other relevant details, including information regarding the dog’s necessary shots. These important details can help you preserve your right to sue for your damages and help your doctor figure out if you need to undergo a series of painful and expensive shots that can protect you from fatal diseases such as rabies.
Get Witness Contact Details
If there were people at the scene who saw what happened, make sure to try to get their names and contact details. These witness statements can often provide you valuable evidence regarding what happened, corroborate your claim, and provide an eyewitness account.
Get to a Doctor Immediately
Even if you do not think you need emergency medical help, you still need to get to a doctor and examine your injuries. This is because following a dog bite, you may require significant medical intervention or a tetanus shot to help prevent severe complications or infections. Thankfully, by getting to a doctor as soon as possible, these physicians can ensure you get the medical treatment you need.
In addition, getting this medical treatment can help your injury claim. The insurance company may be looking for any reason to pay you less money than you deserve or deny your claim altogether. By not getting prompt medical treatment, the insurance company may argue that your injuries are not that serious or a result of a subsequent event.
However, if a medical care professional immediately examines you after the attack, these doctors can jot down their notes in their medical report and ultimately provide you with evidence of a connection between the injuries you sustained and the dog bite incident.
Contact Orlando’s Animal Control
It would also help to file a report with your local animal control agency. Once animal control gets to the scene, they can investigate what happened, gather the information that can help your injury claim, and prevent other individuals from getting attacked or bitten by the dog in the future.
Make Sure to Keep Records of All Your Bills
You will want to keep track of all your expenses related to your dog bite incident, including any time off work, lost wages because of your injuries, medical costs, and damages related to your personal property. These documents can help your dog bite attorney prepare a solid case in response to your attack and go after the financial recovery you are entitled to.
Be Careful What You Discuss at the Scene
Following the accident, as you speak to others at the scene, you need to watch what you say. This means you do not want to admit fault for anything that happened, apologize for anything that occurred, or make any definitive statements about the incident. These types of comments can come back and hurt your claim and the amount of money you can receive.
The Statute of Limitations for an Orlando Dog Bite Claim
Every state has a law that dictates the maximum amount of time you will have to file a claim following an alleged offense. This law is referred to as the statute of limitations, and if you do not bring your claim within that allotted time, you can be barred from pursuing compensation for your injuries.
In Florida, the statute of limitations to bring an injury claim following a dog bite incident is four years from the attack. However, there may be exceptions to this rule that can impact the amount of time you have to file. That is why it is best not to wait to pursue legal action. Instead, you should reach out to an Orlando dog bite attorney like those at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, as soon as possible. These attorneys can go over your claim, determine the maximum amount of time you have to file your case, and ensure that all of your legal documents and motions are properly prepared and filed before time expires.
Orlando Dog Bite FAQ
For many families, their dog is more than a pet. They are a best friend and even a part of the family. However, this does not take away from the fact that dogs are still animals that can bite, and when they do, the results can be catastrophic.
As a victim of this devastating incident, you may be wondering what legal remedies you have, especially if you suffered debilitating injuries, excruciating pain, and astronomical medical expenses following an Orlando dog bite accident.
That is why in this post, we have prepared the following commonly asked questions many of our clients often have regarding dog bite accidents. We hope with this information, you have a better understanding of the legal remedies you can pursue to secure the maximum damages you are entitled to.
1. What Are Some of the Health Risks of a Dog Bite?
If a dog has bitten you, you need to take care of the injury right away to reduce your risk of bacterial infection and assess the wound to determine its severity. If a dog bite is deep, it can potentially harm your muscles, bones, and tendons.
It can also pose a risk of rabies or other infections such as tetanus or MRSA. As a result, you need to get to a doctor fast, so you can promptly receive the medical treatment you require, including antibiotics or shots, to prevent these issues from escalating into a deadly injury or disease.
2. How Do You Know You Have a Valid Legal Claim Following an Orlando Dog Bite Incident?
Unfortunately, numerous questions need to be examined to determine whether you have a valid injury claim following an Orlando dog bite incident.
They include elements such as:
- What was the extent of your injuries after the dog bite incident?
- Is there insurance available following the dog bite incident?
- Do you still have time to file an injury claim following the dog bite accident?
Consequently, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as many people hope it to be. That is why following your dog bite accident, you need to reach out to an experienced Orlando dog bite attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can go over what happened, figure out the answers to these questions, and determine if you have a viable claim.
3. How Long Do You Have to File an Injury Claim Following a Dog Bite Incident in Orlando?
The statute of limitations is a law that indicates the maximum amount of time you have to file a lawsuit following an alleged offense. If you do not bring this claim within that allowed time, you can be barred from pursuing the compensation you need.
In Florida, if you are looking to bring an injury claim for your dog bite incident, you will have four years from the date the injury occurred to file a suit. However, there are often various exceptions to this rule that can impact this filing period.
As a result, it is important to reach out to an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your claim, determine the maximum amount of time you have to file your case, and ensure everything is adequately prepared and filed before time expires.
4. Do You Need to Report a Dog Bite in Orlando?
You should contact your local authorities or the local Animal Control office immediately following your Orlando dog bite incident. These officers can create a report of what happened and also figure out if the dog had bitten anyone else in the past. They can also work with the dog’s owner and determine if the dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations or has any serious diseases.
5. Who is Liable for a Dog Bite Incident in Orlando?
Because Florida is a “strict liability” state, the dog’s owner can be held responsible for a dog bite, even if they were unaware their dog was dangerous or aggressive. These regulations also indicate that the dog bite victim does not need to prove that their harm was due to the owner’s negligence. Rather, to hold the dog’s owner liable, the victim only needs to show that the dog bit them and they were in a public place or lawfully on private property.
However, if the circumstances surrounding the dog bite are different than the ones discussed, the victim can still bring a possible injury claim against the dog’s owner. Yet, in these cases, the victim’s attorney will need to show that the dog’s owner failed to use reasonable care or acted negligently and consequently caused the victim’s injury.
6. Who Will Pay For Damages Following a Dog Bite Incident in Orlando?
Following a dog bite incident, your dog bite attorney can examine the different options you have to recover financial compensation for the harm you endured. In some instances, the dog’s owner may have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance available to cover dog bite injury cases. However, if they do not have this coverage, your lawyer can also look into the dog owner’s assets to determine if they have the money needed to pay for your damages.
Yet, do not be deterred from pursuing a dog bite claim because you worry that the owner may not have the compensation required to cover your losses and injuries. Instead, reach out to an experienced Orlando dog bite attorney as soon as possible and have them determine whether you can pursue a claim for your injuries.
7. What Things Can You Do After an Orlando Dog Bite Accident To Protect Your Claim?
Following a dog bite incident, protect your legal rights:
- Gather Evidence from the Scene – After you contact the authorities, you want to collect as much evidence from the scene as possible. This should include photos and videos of your visible injuries, the accident scene, torn clothing, the dog, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
- Get Details from the Dog’s Owner – If the dog’s owner is present, make sure to get their name, contact information, and insurance details. In addition, try to get further information about the dog, such as if they had their necessary shots. These details will be important when you get to your doctor as they can help them determine if you need to undergo a series of painful and expensive shots that can protect you from deadly diseases such as rabies.
- Check for Witnesses – If there were people at the scene who saw what happened, get their contact details and names. These individuals can often provide you with further information regarding the incident and help back up your claim.
- Seek Medical Help – Even if you do not require emergency medical assistance, you should still get to a doctor and have your injuries examined right away, especially since a dog bite may require significant medical treatment to help prevent serious infections or complications. Besides, this prompt medical treatment can also help your legal claim since insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny your case. In fact, if you do not get immediate medical treatment after your dog bite incident, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are not that severe or they are a result of a separate event. Thankfully, when your doctor examines you after the dog attack, these doctors can write down information regarding your injuries in their medical report and provide you with evidence of a connection between the harm you endured and the dog bite accident.
- Keep Track of Your Bills – Make sure you keep track of all your medical bills and expenses related to the dog bite incident, the time you missed from work, and any damages related to your personal property. These documents can help your dog bite lawyer prepare the strongest case possible on your behalf and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
- Watch What You Say – After the incident, you want to make sure you watch what you say to others at the scene. This means you do not want to make any definitive statements about the dog bite accident, apologize for anything that happened, or take the blame for anything that transpired. These types of comments can come back and hurt your claim, affecting the amount of money you can get.
8. What Compensation Can You Pursue in an Orlando Dog Bite Lawsuit?
After a dog bite incident in Orlando, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation. This compensation often includes economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages: These damages tend to refer to the actual losses that result from an accident, such as
- Medical bills including past, present, and future medical expenses related to your hospital stay, doctor visits, emergency services, prescription medications, surgeries, and assistive medical devices
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- At-home nursing care
- Personal property damages
- Replacement services
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic Damages: These damages refer to the subjective losses that occur following an accident that are not easily quantifiable.
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Damage to reputation
9. How Much Is Your Orlando Dog Bite Case Worth?
Due to the uniqueness of each dog bite case, no lawyer can tell you exactly how much your dog bite claim is worth.
Too many factors can affect this value, including:
- The extent and the severity of the injuries you suffered in the dog bite attack
- The type of medical treatments you will need as a result of the dog bite
- The length of these medical treatments and whether you will need ongoing medical care
- The ability to work following your dog bite incident
- Whether the injuries following the dog bite incident are permanent or did they result in a disability
- The ability to continue to take part in everyday activities
- The credibility of the evidence presented
- The extent of your pain and suffering following the dog bite incident
Even though a lawyer cannot tell you the exact amount of money you can collect following your Orlando dog bite accident, when you work with a skilled dog bite attorney, these lawyers can review your claim, figure out which of these factors can influence your recovery, and prepare the strongest case in response as they fight for the maximum damages you deserve.
10. How Can an Experienced Orlando Dog Bite Attorney Help You Following Your Dog Bite Incident?
If you have been harmed in a dog bite incident in Orlando, you need an experienced dog bite attorney on your side fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Once retained, these dog bite lawyers can promptly get to work evaluating your legal claim and figuring out the legal options you can pursue. They can also quickly start investigating the incident and collecting the evidence needed to show what happened, who was at fault, and the extent of your damages. They will then use this evidence to negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company and go after a fair and full settlement.
If the insurance company will not offer a just settlement, our lawyers can take your case to trial, argue your claim in front of a judge or a jury, and fight for the favorable verdict you need.
Do not wait any longer to seek legal help if a dog bite injury disrupted your life or the life of a loved one. A skilled and knowledgeable Orlando dog bite attorney can show you how they can fight for the damages and justice you deserve.
Following an Orlando Dog Bite Incident—Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA To Get the Legal Help You Need
To have a better chance at a successful claim following a dog bite incident in Orlando, you need to not only have a thorough understanding of the state’s dog bite laws but also need to provide detailed and relevant evidence showing what happened. Fortunately, with an Orlando dog bite attorney on your side, like those at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, you will not have to go through this challenging legal battle on your own. These lawyers can provide you the legal assistance you require to go after the compensation you deserve and pursue the justice you want.
Once retained, these attorneys can:
- Evaluate your potential dog bite legal claim, offer you the legal advice you need during this challenging time, and determine the legal options you can pursue.
- Answer all of your questions and concerns.
- Investigate your Orlando dog bite incident and secure the evidence needed to show liability and damages.
- Hold all those at fault, for the harm you sustained, accountable and build a solid legal case on your behalf.
- Tackle all the negotiations with the insurance company and go after a just settlement offer.
- Take your case to trial and fight for the maximum damages you need.
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury in Orlando, do not wait any longer. Reach out to the dog bite legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, by calling 833-552-7274 for a free case consultation. Let our attorneys show you how we can fight for your rights and the justice you deserve.
815 N Magnolia Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 759-4565