Sebastian Dog Bite Lawyers
Strong advocacy for victims of dog bites
Everyone loves a dog. They’re cute. They’re cuddly. They run after frisbees and balls when we throw them. They’re man’s best friend. Well, not always. Dogs of almost every breed have been known to bite. Some breeds may be more included to bite more than others. Young children are especially likely to suffer a dog bite because they don’t understand that there are limits to how friendly you can be with a dog. Dogs will bite if they’re scared or afraid. When an accident happens, the Sebastian Dog Bite Lawyers at Lulich & Attorneys can help.
At Lulich & Attorneys, our lawyers have been fighting for accident victims for 35 years. We’re experienced Sebastian dog bite lawyers. We focus on the two parts of your case. The first part is working to ensure that you get the medical care that you need. Dog bites may cause infectious. Dog bites can cause disfigurement, bruises, cuts, wounds, and scarring. Dog bites of the face are extremely traumatic. The second part is holding the owners of the dogs accountable. In many cases, dog owners are strictly liable for the injuries they cause. We, often, settle dog bite cases for substantial sums. If necessary, we’re ready to try your dog bite case before a jury.
How often do dogs bite?
- Nearly 4.5 million dog bites occur – each year.
- Over 70% of all dog bites occur because the dog is not neutered.
- “There was a 300% increase in dog attacks during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
- More than 5,800 postal workers were attacked by dogs in 2018
- The odds of dying from a dog bite are 1 in 112,400.
- “Homeowners’ insurers paid $797 million in dog bite and dog injury-related liability claims in 2019.” The average claim was worth $44,760 in 2019.
Some of the breeds of dogs that are known to bite include pit bulls, German Shepherds, bullmastiffs, Rottweilers, Boxers, Great Danes, Dobermans, Bulldogs, and Huskies.
What are the Florida and Sebastian dog bite laws?
Florida has a strict liability dog bite statute. The law requires a finding of responsibility by the dog owner if the following occur:
- The bite by the dog occurs in a public space.
- The victim of the dog bite was legally on the dog owner’s property. US postal rules and Florida law determine when a victim is “legally” on the owner’s property.
- There’s no need for the victim to show that the dog had a propensity to bite or that it had bitten someone before.
The statute does provide a few exceptions:
- If the victim contributed to the dog biting, a reduction in damages based on the amount of the contribution will be applies. The statute does, however, presume that children can’t be contributorily negligent or that there is a rebuttable presumption about their ability to be contributorily negligent – generally based on the age of the child.
- Dog owners can avoid liability if they have “a sign easily readable including the words ‘Bad Dog,’ on his/her property – unless:
- The victim is under six years of age
- The owner’s negligence caused the bite”
Even if we can’t prove a dog owner was strictly liable, we still may be able to obtain an award in your favor by showing that the dog owner:
- Acted unreasonably
- Violated Florida or Sebastian dog laws such as leash laws
- Actively encouraged the dog to bite you or your child
Who can file a Sebastian dog bite claim?
At Lulich & Attorneys, our attorneys file lawsuits on behalf of the following dog bite victims
- The parents of minor children
- Postal workers
We also file wrongful death claims if a dog bite tragically kills a member of your family – on behalf of the surviving family members.
When dogs bite, what injuries are Sebastian victims likely to suffer? How to treat a bite on a dog.
If you’re bitten by a dog, you should immediately go to your nearest emergency room. Dog bite symptoms that you have serious injury include the following:
- These injuries affect the skin. They’re normally minor and can be treated at home – but you should go to the ER or your family doctor because abrasions can cause dog bite infections and disease.
- Lacerations are deep skin cuts. Lacerations reach past the initial skin lawyer (the epidermis) and penetrate into the secondary skin levels; into your blood vessels; and the nerves, muscles, and bones. Often, lacerations require stitches. Like any other dog bite injury, you should seek immediate medical help. Lacerations usually cause bleeding and may become infected. An uneven bitemark is an indicator you have a laceration.
- Puncture wounds. Puncture wounds must be treated by a physician because infections are common. Puncture wounds penetrate deep into the skin.
- If you (or a child) are bitten by a dog, there’s a good chance the bacteria in the dog’s mouth will cause an infection. Infection symptoms include pain, swelling, and pus, and redness. According to Healthline.com, other infection symptoms include tiredness; fever; and swollen lymph nodes in your neck, groin, or armpits Victims may also feel nauseous, vomit, and have a headache. All dog bite wounds should be cleaned immediately to reduce the risk of infection. The safest course is to seek immediate medical care. Your physician will probably give you antibiotics to treat the infection.
- While the risk of rabies is fairly low in the US, the consequences if you or a child has rabies can be deadly. Some dogs, especially dogs that aren’t vaccinated, may have rabies. Once a dog bites you do need to have a doctor examine you to determine if the disease was transmitted. Your doctor will decide if you need to be treated for rabies. Early intervention makes a difference. Delay in treatment may cause convulsions, headaches, paralysis, hypersalivation, hyperventilation, and death. You should also work to identify the dog that bit you to determine whether rabies were transmitted.
- It’s possible a dog bite may cause a victim to develop tetanus. Your family doctor should give you tetanus shots at regular intervals of your life. Young children may not have had a tetanus shot. Check with your doctor how to treat after a dog bite for tetanus.
- Scarring and disfigurement. Some dog bites leave scars. Scars, especially of the face, may require expensive skin grafts and laser therapy treatments. If you or a child has scarring due to a dog bite, you have the right to sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist to discuss how the scarring is affecting you emotionally. Many people with disfiguring scars are self-conscious. Many victims worry how others will reach to their scars. Some victims with facial scars have difficulty developing new relationships.
Really big dogs may cause crushing injuries if they bite a young child. The dog may even break a child’s bones. Bites by large dogs may cause damage to a child’s muscles, tissue, and nerves. In catastrophic cases, a dog bite may cause a child (or adult) to lose an arm, leg, or another body part. Dog bites may also cause paralysis.
In addition to ER doctors, many victims of dog bites require surgery. They may need to treat with an orthopedist. Many dog bite victims live in excruciating pain Treatment with a pain management doctor may help. Victims, whether they have scars or not, may be traumatized by a dog bite – they fear even coming close to an animal again. Treatment sessions with a psychologist may help.
A secondary injury that victims may suffer if a dog bites them, is the victim may fall. The fall can cause other injuries including brain trauma, broken bones, bruises, and even death.
What are the damages in a Sebastian dog bite case?
At Luliich Attorneys & Consultants, our skilled personal injury lawyers demand compensation for all your injuries including:
- The bill for the ER services
- The cost of any surgeries
- Treatment with orthopedists, pain management physicians, and other specialists
- Physical therapy, vocational therapy, and occupational therapy
- Treatment for your emotional injuries
- The cost of medications
- The cost of medical devices
- Any income loss due to the need to seek medical care and/or a workplace disability because of the dog bite
- Scarring and disfigurement
How does a Sebastian dog bite attorney fight for dog bite victims?
Our experienced Sebastian dog bite lawyers work to obtain strong settlements and recoveries by:
- Investigating the dog involved in the dog bite incident. We work to identify the dog that bit you or your child. We also work to identify the dog’s veterinarian who should have records about rabies vaccinations and any other relevant medical records that might indicate if any diseases were passed along the victim. It’s also important to identify the dog to verify that the dog bit you (or your child) could have caused the injuries that occurred.
- Investigating the background of the dog bite. We normally work with investigators who determine when, where, and how the dog bite happened. Knowing the place and manner of the dog bite helps to show that the dog owner is strictly liable. As mentioned, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bites that occurred in public places or in places that victim had a legal right to be – such as a sidewalk or a part of the home where the dog lived (and where the owner had invited the victim onto the property).
- Verifying all the medical expenses and obtaining medical reports. Our lawyers pay attention to all the details including obtaining bills for the following medical care:
- The ER bill
- Any surgical costs include anesthesiologist costs
- The bills for any physical therapy or rehabilitative therapy
We also work with your treating physician to obtain a diagnosis of all your injuries, the types of treatments you need for those injuries, the treatments you sill will need, and whether you will have any loss of function or any permanent injuries once you complete all your medical treatments. The doctor should also explain the type of pain and suffering victims with injuries like yours endure.
- Filing a complaint. Our Sebastian dog bite lawyers file a formal legal complaint against the dog owner. We reply to any filings by the dog owner such as that you, or your child, contributed to the dog bite.
- Conducting discovery. Our Sebastian dog bite lawyers handle the following questions and answers that are a normal part of every personal injury action including dog bites.
- These are written questions. Each side has the right to submit written questions to the other side. We ask questions of the dog owner about the dog – such as what breed the dog is, how old the dog is, what vaccinations has the dog had, has the dog been treated for any diseases, did the dog ever bite anyone before, how did the dog bite occur, and whether the owner invited the victim onto the property prior to the dog bite. The lawyer for the down owner will ask you many questions including questions about how the accident happened, where you were (or where your child was) at the time of the dog bite. The lawyer for the dog owner will also ask questions about your medical conditions including the type of pain and suffering you have, whether there’s any functional loss of a body part, and many other questions.
- These are oral questions. Each side (the victim and the dog owner) has the right to ask the other side questions. The questions are usually similar to the written questions. There are a couple of key differences. With depositions, questions can also be asked of any witnesses to the dog bite. In addition, with written questions, each side has approximately 20/30 days to respond to the written questions. Depositions are taken before a court stenographer. You and the dog owner must answer questions immediately after the questions are asked.
- Requests for the production of documents. Each side to the dog bite claim can also seek documents from the other side. The dog owner can seek your medical bills and medical reports. The dog owner can also seek verification of any income loss through your 1099s, W-2s, or other financial records. You have the right to see the dog owner’s insurance policy to know how much insurance coverage there is. We also may ask if there are any records of any prior lawsuits or complaints about the dog.
- Negotiating with the insurance company. Our Sebastian dog bite lawyers usually begin the negotiations with the insurance adjuster after the discovery phase of your case is complete and after your medical situation has stabilized. We send a demand letter to the insurance carrier with details of all your medical bills, your income loss (if any), your injuries, your treatments, and your physical pain and emotional suffering. The demand letter explains why we believe the dog owner is liable. In most cases, the insurance company will make a counteroffer. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers understand what additional demands to make towards settling your case – with your consent. If the insurance company offers aren’t acceptable, we ready your case for trial.
- Preparing your case for court. Many cases that are called for trial, do settle shortly before trial or the day of the trial. If the case still doesn’t settle, we guide you through the trial process. Our Sebastian dog bite attorneys prepare dog bite victims for trial by taking the following steps.
- We conduct a dry run of your case so you anticipate the questions we and the defense lawyer will likely ask you. The dry run should help calm your nerves and ready you (or your child) for any questions.
- We prepare the evidence for trial. We prepare all the documents that must be presented. We discuss what happens at the trial with any witnesses. We may call your doctor to testify. Alternatively, depending on the defense’s position, we may seek to introduce the medical report or the deposition of the doctor. Part of preparing the case for trial includes making copies of all the documents – the ones that can’t be introduced electronically.
- We write any memos or briefs that explain points of law, such as contributory negligence, that may be raised at your dog bite trial.
- We present your case before a jury. Our lawyers are skilled at selecting juries and trying your personal injury case before a jury of your peers.
Contact a tough Sebastian dog bite lawyer now
Delay can hurt your case. It’s important to speak with an experienced Sebastian dog bite attorney as soon as possible. We’ll help you meet with the right doctors. We’ll explain each phase of the litigation process. Most importantly, we’ll fight the insurance companies and defense lawyers who try to deny or limit your claim. We handle dog bite cases on a contingency fee basis. The law offices of Lulich & Attorneys want you to be informed and protected! Call for your Free Consultation today. You can reach us in Sebastian at (772) 589-5500 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.
Lulich & Attorneys Sebastian Office
- Phone: 772-492-4611
- Fax: 772-589-8800
- Address: 1069 Main Street, Sebastian, FL 32958
- Hours: M-F 8:30PM – 5:00PM
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