Were you or a child bitten by a dog in Jacksonville, FL? You may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering. Call Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers to speak with an experienced Jacksonville dog bite lawyer who can protect your legal rights.
Since our firm was founded, our lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our injured clients. We’d be proud to put our skills to work for you.
How Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Dog Bite in Jacksonville
Dogs make great companions and can bring a lot of joy to your life. Still, dogs can be unpredictable. When a dog bites or attacks, the damage can be overwhelming.
You shouldn’t be left to struggle with the financial costs. Contact an experienced Jacksonville personal injury lawyer if you’re wondering where to turn for help.
At Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers, we have over 60 years of personal injury experience between us. We’ve been recognized by Super Lawyers and listed as National Trial Lawyers’ “Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers” in Florida. We have the resources to help you fight for fair compensation.
Hiring our law firm means you’ll have an attorney to:
- Gather the evidence to establish the dog owner’s legal liability
- Handle all paperwork and administrative issues
- Calculate the value of your personal injury case
- Hire expert witnesses if needed
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and defense lawyers on your behalf
The legal process can be stressful. Our Jacksonville personal injury attorneys are here to make the process as simple as possible for your family. All you have to do is take the first step and call our law firm today.
How Common Are Dog Bites in Jacksonville, FL?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 4.5 million people suffer dog bite injuries each year in the United States. About 27,000 people had reconstructive surgery in a single year because of dog bite injuries.
Insurance companies paid about $854 million to dog bite victims in 2020. Florida had the second-highest number of dog bite claims in the nation. In 2020, 1,235 Florida residents submitted an insurance claim based on dog bite injuries. The average payout per claim was $55,111.
In Florida alone, the Florida Department of Health estimates that about 600 people are hospitalized because of dog bite injuries each year. Unfortunately, the health department’s research shows that children between the ages of one and nine are at the highest risk for dog bites.
What is My Jacksonville Dog Bite Case Worth?
Medical bills can start to pile up quickly if you’ve suffered a serious dog bite injury. However, the value of your case may be much higher than your expenses alone. It’s important to have an experienced attorney evaluate your case before taking a settlement.
Some of the factors that our Jacksonville dog bite attorneys will evaluate in your personal injury claim include:
- The nature of your injuries
- Your financial losses, including lost wages during recovery
- How the injury will impact your day-to-day life
- The nature of the dog owner’s behavior
Our goal is to recover the maximum compensation you deserve. We can’t give you an exact dollar value without carefully evaluating the facts of your case, so give us a quick call to get started today.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims?
If you’ve sustained a serious injury, you’ve probably already incurred significant expenses. Those expenses may continue into the future. To recover the full compensation you deserve, you must identify all of the damages you’ve suffered.
Florida personal injury laws classify damages based on whether they represent financial losses or non-financial losses.
Your economic damages award should cover all of your financial costs, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgeries
- Psychological counseling
- Property damage and other out-of-pocket costs
Examples of your non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety or depression
- Loss of consortium
Our lawyers are prepared to fight for the full range of damages available in your case. If you were injured or lost a loved one, contact our personal injury law firm to learn more about how we can help.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Dog Bite in Florida?
Florida follows a modified comparative fault law with a 51% bar to recovery; all parties who contribute to an injury are held liable for their proportionate share of the damages. That includes the victim.
These principles also apply in dog bite cases. If the dog owner can prove that you were also negligent, your damages can be reduced or even eliminated completely. You will be barred from recovering compensation altogether if you were mostly responsible for the incident.
Cases involving shared fault can be complex. It’s not always easy to assign a percentage of fault to each responsible party. If contributory fault is an issue in your case, call our lawyers today. We’ll do everything possible to diminish your role in the accident.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites and animal attacks can cause significant injuries. In addition to puncture wounds, dog bite victims often sustain:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Infection (studies show that one in five dog bites becomes infected)
- Soft tissue damage
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Amputation injuries, often caused by infection
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death
You can count on Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers to fight to recover full compensation for all of your injuries–regardless of how mild or severe. Give us a quick call to learn more about your legal options today.
How Do I Establish Liability for Dog Bite Injuries in Florida?
Under Florida dog bite laws, victims don’t have to prove that a dog has bitten someone in the past to recover damages. In other words, there is no “one bite rule”.
To recover damages, you must prove that:
- The dog bit you
- You were on public property or lawfully on private property when the bite occured
You can recover damages even if the dog had never displayed any vicious propensities in the past. While the law itself seems simple, dog owners have a number of defenses.
The dog owner is not strictly liable if:
- You provoked the dog
- You were trespassing at the time of the dog bite
- The dog owner posted a “bad dog” sign in a prominent location and the victim was at least six years old
- The injuries were caused by a dog attack, rather than a dog bite
If the dog owner has one of these defenses, Florida’s strict liability law won’t apply. Instead, you’ll have to prove that the dog owner was negligent to recover compensation. Indeed, you’ll have to prove that the dog owner breached a legal duty of care and caused your dog bite injuries.
How Can I Prove the Dog Owner Was Negligent?
There are many different ways to prove that a dog owner’s negligence caused your injuries. Our lawyers at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers will conduct a full investigation to locate the evidence you need.
For example, the dog owner might be negligent if:
- The owner allowed the dog to wander off the property
- The dog was not on a leash in violation of Duval County leash laws
- The dog was classified as a dangerous dog, and the owner failed to take required precautions
Florida state law requires owners of dangerous dogs to keep those animals confined to prevent injuries to others. In addition to damages, owners of dangerous dogs can face criminal charges if the dog hurts someone because of the owner’s negligence.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in Florida?
The statute of limitations in Florida for most personal injury cases was recently adjusted. A two-year deadline applies if your dog bite incident happened on or after 3/24/2023, and a four-year deadline applies if it happened before that date. The consequences of missing the deadline are serious. Most of the time, you’ll lose your right to compensation entirely.
Do you have questions about the deadline? Our lawyers have been serving Jacksonville for decades. Please contact our firm for a free case review today.
Contact a Jacksonville Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you bitten or attacked by a dog in Jacksonville or Jacksonville Beach? Dog bite injuries can be severe.
A Jacksonville dog bite lawyer at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to hold the dog owner responsible for damages. To learn more, contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation.
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