The Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorneys at Chalik & Chalik have been helping animal attack victims recover compensation for their injuries. Dog bites are extremely common in Fort Lauderdale and they can often leave serious injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones and teeth. If you have been attacked by a dog in Fort Lauderdale, contact our dog bite attorneys now to discuss your case and see how you can be compensated for the damages.
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Florida’s statute of limitations gives you four years in which to pursue damages for medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering. You may have the option to pursue compensation through negotiations with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company or another out-of-court process. You can learn more during a free case evaluation with one of our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at (855) 457-2803.
Fort Lauderdale Dog Bites Lawyer Near Me (855) 529-0269
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What is Fort Lauderdale’s dog bite law?
Fort Lauderdale’s dog bite law is covered in Chapter 767.04 of the Florida Statutes. This statute states: “The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for the damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.” Our Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorneys are standing by to help you or a family member if they have been attacked by a dog, call our offices today for a free consultation.
This means the dog’s owner is financially responsible for any injuries you or your child sustained during an attack. This applies whether the bite occurred in a public park, on a sidewalk, or in a friend or neighbor’s home or yard.
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What should I do immediately after a dog attack?
There is great potential for infection or permanent scarring with a dog bite. Seek prompt medical attention and cooperate with doctors for any necessary follow-up care, such as antibiotic treatments and other infection control. This protects not only you or your child’s wellbeing, but also the integrity of a potential dog bite claim.
You should report the dog attack to the Palm Beach Public Safety Department’s Division of Animal Care and Control. You can reach them by calling (561) 233-1215. Request copies of the official police report and photograph all injuries. This information may be used as evidence in a negligence case.
Will the dog be euthanized immediately if I report the attack?
The Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Ordinance outlines the course of action when a dog attack or bite occurs within the county. It does not call for the immediate euthanization of the dog involved in the attack. The dog instead will be placed under observation in quarantine as authorities conduct an investigation into the attack. The dog’s owner will be charged all applicable fees associated with this process.
Dog attacks can be more than just physically damaging for victims. Many people who survive dog bites – especially young children – suffer long-lasting emotional, mental, and psychological harms because of the incident. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a potential ramification of dog attacks. The Florida civil courts may grant a damage award for PTSD and its related personal and medical costs in a dog bite injury claim. Here’s what you should know about PTSD after a dog attack.
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What Is PTSD After a Dog Attack?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric condition that can happen to people who have experienced traumatic events. PTSD is common in groups that have witnessed or been through upsetting things, such as wars or natural disasters. Dog attacks often lend themselves to the development of PTSD because of their violent nature. A dog attack can cause puncture wounds, broken bones, lacerations, infections, and permanent disfigurement.
If a person survives the attack, he or she may continue reliving it through PTSD long after the event has ended. Someone who witnesses the mauling or death of a loved one in a dog attack, such as a parent witnessing that of a child, might also develop post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can be debilitating for sufferers. It can lead to disturbing thoughts, intense nightmares, flashbacks, emotional outbursts, strong negative reactions to triggers, suicidal thoughts, and regression in children.
How to Tell If You Have PTSD After a Dog Attack
Not all dog bite survivors or witnesses will develop PTSD. The details of the incident, as well as the individual, will determine whether someone gets PTSD from a dog attack. One person may get PTSD from a close call while someone else might not suffer psychological effects even after surviving a disfiguring dog bite. Recognizing that you have PTSD is the first step in seeking help and recovery. You might be suffering from PTSD after a dog attack if you notice the following signs or symptoms:
- Repetitive and involuntary memories of the attack
- Distressing dreams or nightmares
- Feeling like you’re reliving the incident
- Trying to avoid things that remind you of the attack
- Distorted beliefs or negative thoughts/feelings
- Feelings of depression, anxiety, or irritability
- Angry outbursts or mood swings
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
If your child was the person who suffered the dog attack, look for signs such as decreased performance at school, behavioral problems, or withdrawal from favorite activities. Reduced creativity, sleep disturbances, or regressive behaviors such as sudden bedwetting could also point toward dog-attack PTSD. Treatment for children is important, as a dog attack can have lasting psychological damage on a child. In severe cases, a child victim could develop a lifelong irrational fear of dogs and/or other animals or suffer stunted emotional/social growth.
Financial Recovery for PTSD and Dog Bites
The Florida courts permit plaintiffs to seek recovery for non-economic or “general” damages. General damages are those that do not have a set price tag, unlike special damages such as medical bills and property damage. General damages can include emotional pain, mental trauma, and psychological distress. PTSD can fall into this damage category during a personal injury claim after a dog attack.
To recover for PTSD after an animal attack, get an official diagnosis from a psychologist. Then, contact an attorney about fighting for fair compensation. A lawyer can help you describe your PTSD and demonstrate how it’s affecting your life to a judge and jury. Non-economic losses are difficult to prove without a lawyer’s assistance.
A civil claim is about more than just being reimbursed for your medical and therapy costs; it’s about securing closure and peace of mind regarding your incident. Get the support you need to treat PTSD or emotional turmoil after a dog attack in Fort Lauderdale. Then, protect your legal rights by retaining an attorney.
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 529-0269