Gainesville Dog Bite Lawyer
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An attack from uncontrolled animal is a terrifying experience. If you have suffered a dog bite accident or are helping a child or other loved one recover, it may feel as though the weight of the world is piling up on your shoulders. Doctor’s appointments, missed work, medical bills, and loss of enjoyment have become part of the new life that the accident forced upon you.
Although compensation cannot erase what happened, it can help to mitigate resulting problems. To find out whether you can pursue compensation for your injuries, discuss your case with a dog bite lawyer in Gainesville at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC: 571-229-1800 today.
Who is Liable for Injuries in a Dog Bite Accident?
Establishing a liable party in a dog bite accident requires proving the following factors of negligence: (a) the dog owner or keeper owed the victim a legal duty; (b) the owner or keeper breached that duty; (c) the breach of the duty proximately caused injury; and (d) the injury resulted in damages.
Owners, Keepers, or Harborers Owe a Legal Duty
The first part of establishing liability is identifying the person(s) responsible for the attack. Liability need not be limited to the owner of the animal. Sometimes other parties play a role that contributes to a dog bite accident.
The most common responsible party is the registered owner of the dog. In the case of an unregistered animal, the “owner” would be the custodian or person who has possession or control of the dog. Occasionally, owners of unregistered dogs defend themselves by claiming that the attacking dog is a stray, for which they owe no responsibility or legal duty. We will investigate and determine whether it is possible to establish ownership.
Other potentially liable parties could be “keepers.” These are parties who do not own the dog in question but who could nevertheless be liable in limited circumstances. These include real estate owners, dog walkers, pet sitters, kennel owners, or grooming boutique operators.
Breach of Legal Duty
Owners, keepers, and harborers of animals owe the public a duty to restrain dogs from causing foreseeable harm. Liability occurs when those responsible for the dog breach this duty. A breach could be the failure to leash a dog or to exercise some other type of ordinary care.
A breach must be the proximate cause of injury for a victim to establish liability.
The Proximate Cause of Injuries
The proximate cause element of establishing liability means that, if not for the breach, the injuries would have never occurred. For example, if the owner had not allowed the dog to walk around unleashed, the dog never would have attacked the victim.
Damages come in two forms: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages take into effect the direct economic impact of the dog bite accident on your life. This can include bills, expenses, and lost wages. Economic damages cover both past and future losses.
Noneconomic damages are monetary but called “noneconomic” because the victim cannot tie them to a fixed dollar amount. This category of damages includes such factors as “pain and suffering” and the inconvenience or disruption the accident caused in the victim’s life.
The victim must prove damages with specificity. To make the best case for the victim, a skilled legal team sometimes relies on expert witnesses in the fields of medicine and economics to persuade the court or the insurance company.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC dedicates its practice to helping accident victims recover the compensation they deserve for what they have experienced.
What Is My Dog Bite Case Worth?
We cannot give you a number for what your case is worth without sitting down with you, going over the accident, and examining your medical bills and lost wages. However, you can expect compensation for the following if they apply to your case:
- Past and future medical bills
- Reconstructive surgeries
- “Pain and suffering” from discomfort, disfigurement, scarring, self-consciousness
- Psycho-emotional damages
- Lost wages, lost earning potential, loss of future income
- Physical or occupational therapy expenses
- Wrongful death benefits
- Loss of quality of certain intra-familial relationships
- Punitive damages in certain cases where the responsible party’s conduct reflected a conscious disregard for the victim’s well-being
The best way to find out the compensation you may recover is to review the specifics of your case with the legal team at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC. Whether you are finished with treatment for your injuries or continue to attend doctor’s appointments, it is never too early to review your case.
If the victim was a child at the time of the accident, you need not wait until the child becomes an adult to pursue a claim for damages. Evidence can disappear over time. The best time to get started with your claim is now.
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Handling a dog bite case and its involved parties (e.g., the owner, insurers, etc.) is difficult, especially when you are attempting to recover from a serious injury. Jim Parrish can help. And because he used to represent insurance companies, he has the upper hand when dealing with them. He knows the tactics they might use to accuse you of contributing to your attack and how to defend against them.
For more information about what Jim can do for you, learn more about attorney Jim Parrish or research his past dog bite accident case results.
The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC is ready to review your case. Call us at 571-229-1800 to find out what compensation your injuries demand.