If you suffered a dog bite injury, contact the Tampa personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for legal representation. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your medical care and other expenses you incur while treating your injury. We could assist you with your claim and hold the at-fault party liable for the incident.
Dogs can be friendly and never harm anyone. However, some dogs attack when they’re provoked, and some attack for other reasons. Severe injuries can occur even if a small dog bites someone. Their jaws are powerful, and their teeth are sharp enough to tear through the skin to the tissue and muscle below. Deep puncture wounds, nerve damage, and serious complications can result from a dog bite injury.
The victims of dog attacks don’t only suffer physical harm. They can also experience psychological or emotional trauma. After an attack, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias of dogs are common. Even people who love animals and have their own dogs could become fearful and worry about getting hurt again in the future.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our dog bite injury lawyers in Tampa, FL, know how traumatic an attack can be. You might not know what you should do in the immediate aftermath. Treatment can be expensive, and complications could arise that put your health at risk. Even if you make a full recovery, you could face long-term effects that interfere with your life.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will be there to help you heal and get your life back on track. We understand the overwhelming responsibility of pursuing a case against a dog owner while attending doctor’s appointments. You won’t have to deal with this alone. We will take over your case so you can focus on your treatment. We will investigate the incident, file a claim, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
For a free consultation, call us at (813) 605-1100, or contact us online. We’re available 24/7.
Common Causes of Dog Bite Injuries
A person could sustain an injury from a dog bite if they provoke the animal somehow. Other times, a dog might attack someone for no obvious reason. A range of factors could contribute to a dog attack, including:
- Fear – Sometimes, dogs attack when they’re afraid. Fear often results from sudden or aggressive movements made in the dog’s vicinity. A dog will bite an outstretched hand or arm if they think they’re in danger.
- Maternal instincts – A female dog instinctively attacks anyone they perceive as a threat to their babies. If you approach a dog’s pups, you could face an attack by an angry and protective mother.
- Illnesses and pain – When a dog is sick, it could be in pain. It might seek out a quiet area where no one will bother it. If you pet a dog on the site of an injury or while they’re feeling unwell, they could bite you to get you to leave them alone.
- Startlement – Some dogs startle easily. They could get startled if you sneak up behind them, and they might attack to protect themselves.
- Playing – People often roughhouse with their dogs. It’s a common way to get a dog’s energy out, so they’re not hyperactive later. However, playtime could turn ugly if a dog bites someone’s hand or arm amidst the excitement.
If you didn’t provoke an attack and suffered a dog bite injury from someone else’s dog, contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers to learn about your available legal options. You could pursue a case against the dog’s owner for the money owed to you for your injury.
Common Injuries from Dog Bites
Puncture wounds aren’t the only types of injuries that result from dog bites and attacks. The most common injuries dogs can cause include:
- Permanent scarring
- Nerve and tissue damage
- Eye and face injuries
- Torn tissue, muscle, or tendons
- PTSD, anxiety, and other mental issues
- Neck and head injuries
- Fractured bones in the hands and feet
Complications from untreated or severe dog bite injuries can occur, such as:
A dog bite can expose a person to the rabies virus and cause various medical problems. Symptoms don’t appear until the virus travels to the brain. Fever, weakness, and other flu-like symptoms are common initially. However, more severe symptoms appear as the disease progresses, such as:
- Abnormal behavior
- Cerebral dysfunction
Tetanus is a disease of the nervous system caused by Clostridium tetani. Since there isn’t a cure, medical care is necessary to alleviate symptoms until the patient recovers from the infection.
The most common signs of tetanus include:
- Fever and sweating
- Jaw cramping
- Trouble swallowing
- Sudden, involuntary muscle spasms
- Painful and stiff muscles
- Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
Sepsis is the body’s overly aggressive response to fighting an infection. It is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical care. Without prompt and adequate treatment, sepsis can cause rapid organ failure, tissue damage, and death.
The most common symptoms of sepsis include:
- Trouble breathing
- Chills and fever
- Disorientation or confusion
- Sweaty skin
- Extreme pain
- Fast heart rate or hypotension
Staph bacteria cause the infection “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” (MRSA). This type of bacteria is resistant to several common antibiotic treatments. The infection can form around the wound and enter the body. As it spreads, it can cause life-threatening complications, such as:
- Necrotizing fasciitis
- Permanent organ damage
The bacteria commonly found in dog bites is Pasteurella multocida. Soft tissue damage, respiratory issues, and infections could result from exposure to the bacteria. Common signs of exposure include:
- Septic arthritis
- Redness at the site of the injury
If you notice that your wound appears infected or experience unusual symptoms, you should seek immediate treatment. You can go to the hospital or an urgent care facility. The doctor might administer shots to prevent infection and stitch up the wound.
Compensation for a Dog Bite Injury
If the dog that bit you belongs to a friend or relative, you might be worried that asking for money for your medical expenses could damage your relationship. Homeowners’ insurance often covers dog bites. When you bring your case to us, we’ll file the insurance claim with your friend’s homeowners’ insurance for you. We’ll handle everything so there’ll be no interference with your friendship.
The party you could hold liable will depend on the circumstances of the incident. For example, if a dog attacked you at a restaurant, you could file a claim with the property or business owner’s liability insurance carrier to pursue the compensation you deserve.
The compensation you receive should compensate you for multiple losses related to the accident, such as:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Damage to personal property
You could also pursue punitive damages if you file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner or another negligent party. You must show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence to receive this monetary award.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we know how to secure the maximum compensation available. We can calculate your expenses to determine the value of your case and aggressively seek an adequate settlement from the insurance company. If they deny your claim, we have the resources to file a lawsuit and take your case to court.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Injuries
If settlement negotiations with the insurance company fail, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for your dog bite injury. You must meet a strict deadline, or you could lose your right to pursue compensation through the court system. Florida’s statute of limitations allows a four-year timeframe for dog bite cases. That means you have four years from the date of your injury to initiate your lawsuit against the at-fault party.
You might be able to toll the statutory period, or pause the running of the clock under specific circumstances, such as:
- Minority – If you are a minor when the injury occurs, you will have four years from the date you turn 18 to file your lawsuit for compensation.
- Of unsound mind – If you are of unsound mind at the time of the incident, you must file suit within four years of the date you gain mental competency.
- Out of state – If the at-fault party leaves the state before you file, the statute of limitations period will start when they return, and their absence won’t count as part of that timeframe.
The Tampa dog bite injury lawyers of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers know how confusing lawsuits can be. The process is complicated to handle, especially without legal representation. You should not attempt to seek compensation without our assistance. We can provide the guidance you need to navigate the complex aspects of your case. You won’t have to face the negligent party alone.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we understand the financial consequences of a dog bite injury. We don’t want to burden you with additional expenses while we’re representing you in your case. That’s why we take cases on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees or costs. We don’t collect legal fees from our clients unless we recover compensation. If we lose, you will never have to pay us.
We have built a reputation for providing top-notch legal services and achieving favorable results in the cases we take. We’ve received awards from various organizations, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Super Lawyers. Publications such as Newsweek® and Time Magazine have also recognized us for the work we do.
If you sustained a dog bite injury due to the negligent actions of another person, call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for your free consultation now. One of our dog bite injury lawyers in Tampa, FL, can meet you for a free consultation to discuss the details. Let us be your advocate and help you on the road to recovery.