West Palm Beach Dog Bite Attorneys
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury from a dog bite because of an owner’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their pets under control, and they should be held accountable if their negligence has injured you or someone in your family. You don’t deserve to be financially responsible for this pain and suffering you have endured because of someone else’s carelessness. The attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. are dedicated to fighting for your legal rights while you recover from a dog bite injury. We also believe that excellent legal representation shouldn’t cost you. That’s why we work on a contingency-fee basis. We take no legal fees unless you receive a financial award. Contact Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. today at (561) 689-8180 to discuss the details of your case in a free and confidential consultation.
Do I Need A Dog Bite Lawyer?
It’s always a smart idea to consult a lawyer after an injury like a dog bite in which liability can be tricky to establish. Florida’s laws regarding liability for dog bite incidents and injuries are complex, and you want to maximize your chances of the highest possible financial award. Having an experienced lawyer on your side is the best way to do that. If you are recovering from a dog bite, or attending to a child or family member who has been attacked by a dog, you do not want to fight your case on your own.
A skilled lawyer will have experience with the legal process, thorough knowledge of each law involved with your case, and access to important resources to investigate your case. The experience and connections that lawyers have are invaluable resources for your case overall, and when you trust a lawyer to fight on your behalf, you have more time to focus on what is most important: your recovery.
Why Choose Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. to Handle My Case?
The attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. understand how serious an injury like a dog bite can be. We know that such injuries can cause you and your family immense physical, emotional, and financial strain. Our lawyers firmly believe that you should not have to shoulder the responsibility of high medical expenses from a dog bite on your own. The legal team at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. will work hard to fully investigate the details of your case in order to make it as strong as possible and secure the highest amount of compensation available.
We are proud of the trust that countless members of the West Palm Beach community have placed in us, and are dedicated to fighting for our clients after an injury. Our extensive record of successful cases includes billions of dollars recovered for our West Palm Beach clients over the years. We’ve been able to help so many people get the compensation they deserve because of our attorneys’ skillful and strategic legal representation.
The lawyers at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. will work to alleviate your financial stress after a dog bite. We’re confident in our ability to argue your case successfully, which is why you pay us nothing until we’ve won.
Dog Bite Liability
Florida has laws that dictate the liability of the dog owner and the victim in different ways. For dog owners, Florida is a strict liability state. This means that when a dog bites anyone in a public place, its owner is automatically responsible. The same goes for a private place, so long as the victim is present on the property lawfully. This liability covers any damages that the bite victim sustains. Liability is imposed regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression or previous attacks, and regardless of the owner’s knowledge about the dog’s aggressive behavior.
While Florida holds dog owners liable in most cases, victims of dog bites can also share liability. Florida law states that the owner’s liability can be reduced in proportion to the dog bite victim’s negligent behavior. Negligence, in this case, means that the victim failed to be cautious and careful, or behave appropriately around the dog. If a person is purposefully angering a dog, taunting it, or even harming it, they can be deemed partially liable. In that case, the injured person will not receive the full amount of damages they would have been legally entitled to if they did not exhibit negligence around the dog that bit them.
Dog Bite Risks
Dog bites can be mild or life-threatening depending on the size and power of both the dog and victim. Unfortunately, children and the elderly have the highest risk of dog bites. Many children do not know how to act around dogs, and many dogs have sensitivities to small children that require constant supervision of children around dogs—especially if the dog or child have never been around each other. If a dog bites a person, injuries may include:
- Cuts or puncture wounds in the skin
- Broken bones
- Rabies or other diseases
- Anxiety or a phobia of dogs
- Amputation or permanent loss of mobility
- Wrongful death
- Other forms of pain and suffering
The CDC reports that almost 1 in every 5 dog bites becomes infected. What’s more, some bacteria that live in a dog’s mouth can make you sick. Dog bites can cause any of the following diseases or infections:
- Pasteurella is the most common bacteria found in over half of infected dog bite injuries. It results in painfully inflamed infections that can cause the joints and glands to swell. This can lead to difficulty in moving. The risk is much higher for people with weak immune systems.
- Rabies is relatively rare, but it is one of the most serious diseases that dog bites can cause. Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and is almost always fatal once symptoms are present. This disease can be prevented through vaccination, however. If you have been bitten by a dog, make sure to ask your doctor if treatment for Rabies is necessary.
- Capnocytophaga is a bacteria that lives in the mouths of dogs, cats, and people. The bacteria is safe for cats and dogs but can be dangerous to humans if it is spread through the bloodstream through bites or scratches. People with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk for illness due to capnocytophaga exposure.
- Tetanus is a toxin produced by a type of bacteria that lives in a dog’s mouth. Tetanus causes paralysis and is a risk for people who sustain deep bite wounds from dogs. It is also preventable with a vaccine.
- MSRA is a type of staph infection you can contract through a dog bite, as dogs can carry it without any symptoms. In people, it can cause skin, lung, and urinary tract infections, and sometimes become life-threatening if it spreads into the bloodstream or lungs.
Dog bites can also lead to psychological damage like increased anxiety around animals or the development of a phobia of dogs. Such conditions can affect a victim’s future quality of life. Dogs are the most popular pet in the United States, and if someone is afraid of them it can make them hesitant to even leave their home in extreme cases. If a young child is bitten by a dog, they can more easily develop psychological trauma that can shape the rest of their lives.
Compensation for Dog Bites
Depending on the details of your case, you may be eligible for a variety of damages through a dog bite claim. These include:
- Medical expenses, including emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, and medication
- Property damage resulting from the dog attack, such as damage to clothing
- Lost wages, if you have to miss work while recovering from the attack
- Rehabilitative care
- Lost earning capacity, if you are unable to return to work due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
If your loved one passed away as a result of a dog attack, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. Through this claim, you may be able to recover compensation for losses including funeral expenses and loss of support, among other harms.
What Should I Do If Someone’s Dog Bites Me?
If you are the victim of a dog bite, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you think you can treat the wound on your own, future compensation may depend on having immediate medical attention. These medical records may potentially strengthen your case. Puncture wounds that dog bites cause are also more susceptible to infection than other injuries. In addition to seeking medical help, make sure that you document your injury by taking your own photos of the incident as well as your wounds. Write down all information about the incident, and see if there were witnesses that can give statements about what happened. Then contact a dog bite injury lawyer to build your case.
Contact Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. Today
Dog bites can cause severe injuries that lead to serious health consequences. You should not have to suffer physically or financially because you have been attacked by an irresponsible owner’s dog. The premises liability attorneys at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck P.A. are here to help you understand your legal rights. We will fight tirelessly to hold dog owners accountable for their negligence and get you the compensation you deserve. Our firm believes that quality legal representation shouldn’t be out of reach due to money. That’s why we will collect legal fees only in the event that you receive payment for your injuries. To discuss the details of your case, contact us today at (561) 689-8180 for a free and confidential initial consultation.