Were you or a child bitten by a dog in Destin, FL? The dog’s owner may owe you financial compensation under Florida dog bite laws. An experienced Destin dog bite lawyer at Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your family’s pain and suffering.
Our lawyers have over 60 years of experience protecting families across Northwest Florida – and we’ve recovered millions on behalf of our satisfied clients.
Dog bite injuries can be much more serious than you’d expect. To learn more about your legal options, call our law offices in Destin, Florida, at (850) 842-2573 or contact us here to schedule a free consultation today.
How Brannon & Brannon Can Help After a Dog Bite in Destin
You shouldn’t be left to fight with an insurance company after the trauma of an animal attack and injury. Unfortunately, that’s what you’ll have to do if you want to recover compensation for your losses.
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys is a top-rated personal injury firm in the Florida panhandle. We’ve earned Martindale-Hubbell’s most prestigious “AV-Preeminent” rating for our effective legal representation.
Our Destin personal injury lawyers can help your family by:
- Listening to your story and explaining your legal rights
- Investigating to gather evidence that supports your claim
- Calculating the value of your claim so that it fully compensates for your losses
- Protecting you if the dog owner blames you for provoking the dog
- Handling all insurance negotiations
- Advocating for the maximum compensation you deserve
Families in Destin, FL, have trusted our legal team to protect them since we opened our doors back in 1990. We’d be proud to stand up and fight for you. Call to schedule a free initial consultation today to learn more about how an experienced Destin dog bite lawyer can help.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Destin, FL?
Studies also show that people in Florida are more likely to sustain serious dog bite injuries than residents of the country’s two bigger states, California and Texas. In a single year, 1,281 dog bite victims submitted insurance claims for dog bite injuries.
In other words, six out of every 100,000 Florida residents filed a dog bite injury claim that year. The average cost was $43,893 per victim.
What is My Destin Dog Bite Case Worth?
Most dog bite injuries are covered by the dog owner’s insurance. However, it’s important to consider all of the facts before accepting an insurance settlement. Dog bites can leave lasting physical injuries – but they can also impact the victim’s emotional wellbeing.
Some factors that can influence the value of your case include:
- The nature and severity of the injuries
- The total cost of your medical treatment
- Whether you’ll need future medical treatment, surgeries, or rehabilitation
- Whether you sustained a permanent impairment or disfigurement
- The circumstances of the bite and whether you contributed in any way
- How the injuries will impact your future
The pain and trauma of a dog bite injury can last for years, especially if the victim was a small child. Of course, it can be difficult to anticipate what the future holds. Our Destin dog bite attorneys will work with leading experts. With their help, we’ll have the information needed to determine how much your personal injury case is worth.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims?
Florida personal injury laws group damages according to whether they compensate the victim for economic damages or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are your verifiable financial expenses related to the dog bite, including:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of anticipated future medical care
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgeries
Non-economic damages provide compensation for your non-financial losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Fear and humiliation
- Loss of consortium
Between us, our lawyers have decades of experience handling personal injury claims in Destin. We have relationships with experts and specialists who can help prove your damages. To learn more about how we can help, call our law firm for a free case evaluation today.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for Causing a Dog Bite in Florida?
Under Florida’s comparative negligence laws, a victim’s settlement or verdict can be reduced if they share some of the blame for an accident. Dog bite laws follow the same rule.
If you’re accused of provoking the dog to bite, a percentage of the fault will be allocated to you. Your final settlement or verdict will be reduced by that percentage – so that you only take home part of the money you’re awarded. Your settlement may also be reduced or denied if you were trespassing at the time of the injury.
Allocating blame isn’t an exact science – although the insurance company will try to convince you to accept their version of the story. If you’re being blamed for causing a dog bite, you need a skilled lawyer to protect you. Call Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys to learn more about the shared fault laws in Florida.
Our Destin Dog Bite Lawyers Will Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Injuries
Like any truck accident or motorcycle accident, dog bites and animal attacks can cause severe injuries. Unfortunately, kids are most likely to suffer the most serious and traumatic injuries. Injury rates are highest among children between ages five and nine.
At Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys, we often fight for compensation for dog bite victims who have suffered:
- Puncture wounds and lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Spinal cord damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Amputations caused by infection
Dog bite injuries can even be catastrophic or fatal, especially if the victim is particularly vulnerable. If you lost a loved one because of a fatal dog bite injury, our lawyers can help you file a wrongful death claim for damages.
How Do I Establish Liability in a Florida Dog Bite Case?
Unlike car accident victims, you don’t have to prove negligence to recover damages if you were bitten by a dog in Florida. Dog owners are strictly liable for damages under Florida dog bite laws.
Unlike other states, Florida doesn’t have a one-bite rule. So, you don’t have to prove the dog has bitten someone else or displayed vicious tendencies to recover damages.
Instead, you must prove:
- You were in a public place or lawfully on private property
- The dog actually bit you
- You sustained damages or some type of injury
The rules might seem simple, but the law does create a number of complexities. The dog owner has a number of effective defenses.
For example, if the bite occurred on the owner’s property and the owner displayed a “bad dog” sign, you’ll have to prove the owner was negligent to recover compensation if the victim was at least six years old. The dog owner might also claim that you provoked the dog – so you’ll have to prove the owner was also negligent.
Strict liability laws only apply if the dog bites you. If the animal attacks but doesn’t bite, you’ll have to prove negligence to recover damages.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Florida Dog Bite Case?
A person is negligent when they fail to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances. If someone was careless and you’re hurt because of that carelessness, you can recover money for your damages.
A dog owner might be negligent if they:
- Failed to keep the dog on a leash in violation of Destin leash laws
- Failed to keep the dog confined in a secure area
- Allowed the dog to roam freely
A dog owner might also be liable if they knew about the dog’s aggressive tendencies and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the dog bite. If the dog was classified as a “dangerous dog” under Florida law, the owner might even face criminal charges.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After Being Bitten by a Dog in Florida?
You only have a limited time to file a lawsuit in civil court. The Florida statute of limitations in personal injury cases is four years. If you don’t file a lawsuit before the deadline, you won’t be able to recover compensation.
It’s possible that you could have more time if the dog bite victim was a minor. The parents can file a lawsuit on behalf of a child. However, the child may also sue for damages later in life if the parent chooses not to seek compensation.
Contact a Destin Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Dog bites can cause permanent emotional and physical damage. That’s especially true if the victim was a young child. If you or a loved one sustained dog bite injuries, call an experienced Destin dog bite lawyer at Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Lawyers for a free case review today.
We represent victims in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Walton County, Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, DeFuniak Springs, Mary Esther, and across the Emerald Coast of Florida.