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A Guide To Dog Bite Cases in Jacksonville, FL

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A Guide To Dog Bite Cases in Jacksonville, FL

Getting bitten by a dog can be one of the scariest and most traumatic experiences of your life. On top of fright, you may feel powerless and unsure of how to handle the situation. 

This guide will discuss the immediate steps to take after a dog bite in Florida, from medical treatment options to legal considerations. Using this information, you can prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.

What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By a Dog?

What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By a Dog?

The paramount priority is your well-being. With a dog bite wound, you have a high risk of infection if you do not take the appropriate measures. 

Right after the incident, you should evaluate the injury and wash the bite area with mild soap and warm water. Use a clean cloth to stop the bleeding, and apply an antibiotic ointment if you have one. Carefully wrap the injured area with a sterile bandage. 

In serious cases, you may need to go to the emergency room to prevent permanent or life-threatening damage.

Regardless of the severity of the dog bite injury, you should schedule an appointment with a physician to play it safe. Even a seemingly minor wound could become infected, leading to significant complications. 

Your doctor may administer IV antibiotics, and they will examine the bite to see if it damaged any underlying structures, like nerves, tendons, muscles, or bones. You may require stitches, a tetanus shot or booster, and even a rabies vaccine under certain circumstances.

If someone else’s dog has bitten you, you need to think about legalities on top of medical concerns. 

Call the local animal control (Animal Care and Protective Services in Jacksonville) to report the incident. If the dog is a runaway, the agency may be able to locate its owner. Animal control can also investigate and pick up the canine to prevent any further injuries. The dog may need to be quarantined to determine if it has any illnesses or transmissible diseases.

If the dog’s owner is at the scene of the attack, try to obtain as much information as possible from them, such as: 

  • The dog’s breed 
  • Vaccination history 
  • The owner’s contact information (if unknown)
  • The owner’s insurance information, such as a homeowners or renters policy

The animal’s owner may not be quick to provide you with the necessary information. They may even allege that you provoked the dog. It’s best to contact an experienced Jacksonville dog bite lawyer right away to protect your legal rights. 

What Do I Have To Prove To Win a Dog Bite Claim in Florida? 

Under Florida law, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries resulting from unprovoked bites. The canine doesn’t have to have a history of viciousness for you to recover dog bite compensation from its owner. In other words, Florida is not a “one-bite rule” state. Additionally, you don’t have to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent.

To recover compensation from the animal’s owner under a strict liability principle, you just need to demonstrate: 

  • Their dog bit you 
  • You were lawfully on public or private property

There are a few exceptions where the owner is not strictly liable for a canine bite, such as if: 

  • They posted a “Bad Dog” sign in a noticeable place on their property (and the victim is at least six years old)
  • You were trespassing when the dog bit you 
  • You provoked the dog to bite you 

Even if the dog owner isn’t found to be strictly liable, you may have a negligence claim if their carelessness contributed to your bite injuries. For example, they may be deemed negligent if they violated Jacksonville’s leash law and allowed their dog to run at large.

What Types of Damages Can I Receive in a Florida Dog Bite Case?

Florida law typically allows dog bite victims to recover compensation for the full extent of their losses stemming from the incident. 

Economic damages are any financial losses you’ve encountered due to the bite, including: 

  • Medical bills for hospital/urgent care visits, treatment, and follow-ups 
  • Future medical expenses, such as if you need reconstructive surgery 
  • Lost income 
  • Diminished earning potential 
  • Counseling costs 

Dog attacks can also be very physically and emotionally disturbing. That’s where non-economic damages come in, which may include: 

Our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers are here to evaluate your dog bite case and identify all the damages you’ve suffered. 

Contact Our Experienced Jacksonville Dog Bite Lawyers For a Free Consultation

If you have been bitten by a dog in Jacksonville, Florida, you need to reach out for legal advice and representation as soon as possible. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for taking action, and the quicker an attorney starts building your claim, the stronger it will be. 

Contact our Jacksonville dog bite attorneys at (904) 396-1100 for a free case evaluation to learn more about your options for pursuing compensation.

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