Animal Attack Personal Injury Claims
While you might not hear about it too often, one of the most common types of personal injury claims across the state of Florida is an animal attack or more specifically dog bites. Now you might think of your dog as man’s best friend, and there are many individuals reading this saying that their dog would never attack anyone at all. And while 9 out of every 10 times you might be right, we have to remember that our pets are still animals and their natural animalistic instincts can be triggered at any moment. In fact, according to Mr. Charles Spinner, the best injury lawyer Sarasota Florida has to offer, each year there are thousands of cases across the United States, and hundred across Florida alone. In these cases, the individual that has been bitten may now have the legal right to recovery damages from the pet’s owner, or another party that may have responsibility due to some specific circumstances. If you have been the victim of any type of animal attack it’s important that you understand your legal rights to follow – read on to learn more about animal attack personal injury claims.
In the event you have been bitten by an animal, no matter what the circumstances may be, the first thing you must do is to seek out medical attention and visit an emergency room as you may not know what type of illnesses or issues the dog might be carrying which may be able to pass on to humans. Treatment is not only vital, but in the event of a future legal claim, Mr. Spinner, the best injury lawyer Sarasota has in practice, would like to have a medical report outlining the injury, and any supporting details and information that may help later on in the event of litigation. Once you have been medically evaluated, you should immediately consult a personal injury lawyer, with experience in animal bite cases – such as Mr. Spinner, the best injury lawyer Sarasota has to offer. An experienced attorney will likely be able to tell you whether you have a legal claim, just from a detailed medical report, and your knowledge of the scene and how it may have played out. In addition, they will be able to tell you, generally, what damages you may be able to recover.
Any attorney will ask you for detailed information about the circumstances surrounding your animal bite. As the Best Injury Lawyer Tampa has in practice, at an absolute minimum, you should provide the name and phone number of the animal’s owner, the location in which it occurred and a recap of what happened immediately, before and after the bite took place. If you don’t have this information, a neighbor or a witness who was on location, might be able to provide it to you as well, so it’s important that when the bite occurs, you or someone with you, should gather the names of phone numbers of anyone who might have witnessed the scene. While a personal friend or family member is fine, having an additional, bipartisan witness – without any predetermined bias will only strengthen your claim.
After that, your attorney will have to determine liability and of there was any negligence that led to the bite. In some cases, a term called strict liability will be put into action. This means that an owner is legally responsible (“liable”) for an animal bite, regardless of whether the owner did anything wrong with respect to protecting others from attack. Under this theory, even if the owner had no reason to know that his or her animal was dangerous, if the animal bit someone, the owner would still be liable. However, according to Mr. Spinner, the best injury lawyer Tampa has to offer, in other instances, if the owner of an animal can be held liable for the injuries it inflicts, provided that the owner knew (or had reason to know) that the animal had “dangerous propensities.” In other words, if an animal owner knows that his or her animal is dangerous and could cause injury to a person, the animal owner can be held liable for the animal’s harmful actions. Now under this concept there is a lot of legal wiggle room, and many loopholes for the defense to use during the case. It can be nearly impossible in many cases to determine whether or not the owner knew of their animal being dangerous. Therefore, according to Mr. Spinner, the best injury lawyer Tampa has for such dog bite cases, a number of other factors may come into play. For instance, you may be able to bring up the dog’s breed – considering that some breeds are simply known to be more difficult to control and may be confrontational when it is concerned for the owner’s wellbeing and it senses some sort of danger. This is a difficult thing to prove – for instance, in a case where you might have been bit by a pit bull, your attorney may argue that as a breed, it is commonly known that pit bulls are more aggressive than other breeds and therefore the owner should have been more vigilant in keeping control of their dog. However, the defense can argue that while pop culture and the media may portray pit bulls to be dangerous and aggressive, in reality pit bulls are fairly docile animals and aren’t the aggressive dogs that they are made out to be. Of course, there are many other factors at play here, such as what their interaction was prior, and if there was any provocation on the victim’s part. To learn more about such personal injury claims, be sure to contact Mr. Charles Spinner, Esq. today.