First Things First…
Head to the hospital if you require immediate care. If you can’t make it on your own, call a friend or family member and have someone drive you. If you’re able, contact the authorities and have a report filled out documenting the animal attack. This is a good reminder – don’t leave home without your cellphone. If you have a smartphone, you have even more tools to get immediate help.
When You Get Home After a Dog Bite
Before you leave the hospital, make sure you take with you every document that they give you. Photocopy and scan them – don’t be in a situation where you lose important documents.
Call a personal injury attorney immediately. Here’s the likely scenario…
What Your Lawyer Will Likely Ask About the Bite
Your attorney will likely want to take photographs of your injuries, as well as take photographs of the area where you were attacked. Let his or her team decide who does the work. With smartphones everywhere, this is a lot easier than it was 10 years ago. Almost everyone has a camera on them in 2015.
The next issue is “where your dog bite happened”. Were you on public property? Were you on private property? At a store? At a residence?
Following the “where” comes the “what”. What are the laws regarding dogs in the neighborhood where you were injured. Was the dog on a leash? If you live in a gated community or country club in Boca Raton, what are the laws regarding dog bites? Was the owner obeying the law?
The Legal Process
The legal process for potential dog and animal bite lawsuits in Boca Raton is as follows:
- Determining liability: In Florida, dog bite cases are considered strict liability in that the owner of the dog is the person responsible for the damages caused by the dog. After a dog bite occurs, your attorney’s initial investigation involves determining who is the dog’s owner and investigating whether or not they carry the proper coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Your attorney’s investigation of the incident in determining fault may include:
- Obtaining a copy of the police report and/or animal control report;
- Taking photographs of your injuries;
- Taking photographs of the scene of the incident;
- Getting witness statements from anyone who saw the incident occur;
- Determining whether the dog was registered and had its proper vaccinations;
- Obtaining any prior incident reports from animal control; Ultimately, determining who the dog’s owner is will go a long way towards determining whether you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
- Determining damages: Your attorney will investigate both economic and non- economic damages which you may be entitled to after an accident.
- Economic damages include such items as medical expenses you have incurred as a result of your incident, as well as what your doctor may say you need in the future. Other economic damages include your wages you lost from work as a result of the incident, as well as your inability to earn money in the future as a result of the injuries you sustained.
- Non-economic damages: These damages may include compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and/or disfigurement as the result of the injury caused by the dog.
- Presenting your case: In many cases your attorney will take all of the information about your accident including liability, causation and damages, and forward it to the party or their insurance company who caused the accident and attempt to settle the case. If the case does not settle, a lawsuit may be filed in which case settlement negotiations may still continue, but if unsuccessful, your case will then be decided by a judge and/or jury.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Boca Raton
If you or a close one were bitten by a dog or animal in Boca Raton, Canter Law offers 100% free consultation. Just dial 800-830-8386. We’re here to help. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.