Each year, around 4.5 million Americans experience dog bites or dog attacks. If you or a loved one suffers a bite and the canine owner is deemed to be negligent, you have the legal right to compensation from the dog owner’s insurance carrier. At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, our dog bite lawyers are here to represent you and help you get the money you need to cover your costs and pay for your losses.
Dog bites cause almost $500 million in damages annually, with costly hospital trips and time missed from work commonplace. Many people who suffer from dog bites also experience permanent scarring or disfigurement and extensive trauma. You deserve to be fully covered for all damages so you are “made whole” after an attack. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene can help you use the legal system to get the money you need. To get personalized help if you or someone you love was bit, call us now to talk with a member of our legal team. We will explain your options for fighting for compensation and help answer questions including:
Dog bite victims must prove they are entitled to compensation for their bite injuries. There are several legal arguments you can make to prove that the dog’s owner should cover your losses. Florida has a special law dealing with damage caused by dog bites. According to Florida Code section 767.04: “The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s’ knowledge of such viciousness.”
This law says that dog owners are strictly liable for all bite incidents. This means you can recover compensation for losses caused by a bite even if the dog’s owner didn’t know the animal had aggressive tendencies and even if the dog’s owner did nothing wrong.
In many cases, dogs exhibit aggressive behavior that should serve as a warning sign to the owner that the dog has a propensity to bite. If the owner should have known of the danger and taken steps to protect you, then you may make a claim based on the owner’s negligent failure to avoid injury. A dangerous dog is considered like a loaded gun, especially if the dog is allowed to run free. The owner who unleashed this canine weapon can be held accountable.
When a dog bites and you want to obtain compensation for losses, you typically will take legal action against the dog’s owner. However, there may be others who are responsible for your injuries as well. For example, when a dog attack occurs on a rental property, the landlord could be held legally liable if the property owner was aware of the dangerous dog.
Sometimes, taking legal action against both the dog owner and the property owner increases the chances of being fully compensated for all damages caused by the dog.
It is also important to remember that when you make a claim against a dog owner or property owner, that individual is not usually going to pay the costs personally. Homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance typically covers the cost of dog bite claims. This means you shouldn’t hesitate to take legal action after being bitten by a dog belonging to a friend or a neighbor. You have costs and losses to cover, and that is what insurance is for.
Although the law says you are entitled to compensation after a dog bite, it is up to you to pursue your claim. Insurance companies, and even many landlords and dog owners, are often reluctant to admit fault and to agree to pay out compensation. Even when an insurer doesn’t deny claims, many of which are legitimate, there is also extensive pressure on victims to settle claims for less than the claim is worth.
You cannot take a chance on trying to get an insurer to fairly compensate you for a dog bite, especially when you have sustained serious injuries that necessitate costly plastic surgery or other expensive treatment. You deserve to be paid for damages, and you need a lawyer who can help. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene is here for you.
Our attorneys have represented more than 32,000 injured victims and, since 1997, we have helped many dog bite victims get their losses covered. We have the knowledge to help and the compassion to care enough about your case to treat it with the deserved importance. We also aim to give you peace-of-mind by charging no fees for legal services unless we recover compensation for you.
At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, we are here to help you with every step of recovering monetary damages after a dog bite or animal attack. Contact us at one of our offices in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, Fort Myers, Orlando, Okeechobee today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.