They say that dogs are man’s best friend. And for the vast majority of well-trained dogs, this time-honored adage rings true. Unfortunately, dogs with aggressive natures, insufficient training, and negligent owners can not only be unfriendly—they can be downright dangerous.
As personal injury attorneys, the legal professionals at Lawlor, White & Murphey know this better than most, because it is not uncommon for dog bite victims to come to our offices for help. Why? Every year, more than four million Americans are attacked by dogs. Of those bites, 800,000 on average require emergency care, 30,000 require reconstructive surgery, and up to 20 result in death. In many cases of attack, dogs are let loose by their owners and try to bite humans out of fear, aggression, defensiveness, or even playfulness. But because dogs often have powerful jaws and sharp teeth, even playful bites can cause serious injury.
After being bitten by a dog, many victims are left with severe, often disfiguring scars. Dog bites have been known to puncture skin, fracture bones, and damage muscles, nerves, tendons, and blood vessels. Deeper dog bite wounds can become infected and lead to further pain and health complications in the future. In addition, if the dog is not vaccinated against rabies, or the owner is uncertain about whether or not the dog has been vaccinated, the victim may need to undergo antibiotic treatment.
But for many victims—particularly young children—perhaps the most long-lasting and life-altering effect of a dog bite is the psychological damage it can cause. Many dog bite victims suffer a phobia of dogs that makes it difficult for them to interact with even the most well-trained and docile canines for the rest of their lives.
At Lawlor, White, and Murphey, our dedicated team of attorneys have over half a century of combined experience protecting injury victims across Florida. We are passionately committed to helping Florida dog bite victims obtain the compensation they need to heal and move on with their life. We not only strive to achieve a just settlement, but to make the world a safer place by raising awareness of an aggressive animal or negligent owner and preventing similar dog bite injuries from happening to others.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you have a legal right to recover compensation for the harm you suffered from the owner or other responsible party. In many cases, the owner will be held responsible for the actions of his or her pet and any negligent behavior or acts on their part that may have contributed to the injury. Under state law, you may be able to recover compensation for any injuries caused by the bite or the attack—such as a fractured arm or head injury that resulted after being knocked to the ground.
Our lawyers have filed many successful dog bite claims, and we know how to give you the best chance at securing compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering. When you work with us, your attorney can help explain your options, and let you know if you have a strong case. And if it becomes necessary to take your case to court, we will work with you to defend your rights and obtain just compensation. If you are seeking skilled, experienced, and compassionate representation for your dog bite injury claim, we encourage you to reach out to the attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey.
Dog bites and attacks often come out of nowhere. Amid chaos and shock, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate next move. However, taking the right steps after being bitten by a dog is critical to both your physical well-being and the strength of your legal claim. We’ve outlined the four basic steps to take after being bitten by a dog below.
Seek medical treatment. If you have been wounded on your head or neck, call 911 immediately. You should also seek emergency care if you are bitten by an unknown dog or one you believe may have rabies so you can begin rabies vaccinations as soon as possible. If the wound is minor, you should still seek prompt medical attention to ensure the wound does not become infected.
Report the dog to animal control. If the dog is loose or a stray, call animal control so they can try to capture it and prevent it from biting others. Otherwise, animal control may be able to help you establish the identity of the owner and ensure he or she takes action to prevent the aggressive dog from harming others.
Document evidence. Write down the names and contact information of the dog’s owner and any witnesses. Photograph your injuries—before they are treated, if possible. After seeking medical care, be sure to keep a careful record of all your medical treatments, prescription receipts, and any other costs relating to your recovery.
Contact a dog bite lawyer. You should seek legal representation as soon as possible after a dog bite or attack. Ideally, you should look for an attorney who has experience in working with Florida dog bite cases and is familiar with state dog bite laws. With the help of an expert Florida dog bite lawyer, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, other recovery-related costs, and overall pain and suffering.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our dedicated team of lawyers have pursued justice for injury victims across Florida for years with great success. Our efforts have not only be recognized by clients, but professional organization such as Avvo, Super Lawyers, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We have helped many clients obtain just compensation after a dog attack, and we can help you too. Our law firm has the experience, resources, and talent you need to secure the compensation you need to move on with your life.
You deserve the chance to recover fully and resume your life after suffering from a dog bite. Lawlor, White & Murphey can help you navigate Florida’s complex dog bite laws to ensure you get the compensation you need. Together, we can work to raise public awareness of the dangers of dog bites and prevent similar attacks from harming others in the future.
Give us a call today at 954-525-2345 (South Florida) or 855-347-5475 (Toll Free) to learn how our dog bite lawyers can help in a free 60-minute consultation. Alternatively, you can contact us via our simple online case evaluation form, or send us an email.
Do not delay. The sooner you have a professional working on your case, the better your chances at having a successful outcome.