Legal Help for Dog Bite Victims

Contact a Sarasota Injury Lawyer for Caring Legal Counsel

Dog Bite

Dogs can be personal guards and trusted friends. Many Floridians have dogs, and most dog owners love their dogs like children. A dog bite, however, can be a frightening experience for anyone and can have traumatic – and even deadly – consequences. If a dog has bitten or otherwise attacked you or your child, it is imperative to retain competent legal counsel if you want to recover compensation for your medical expenses and emotional trauma.

Sarasota injury attorney Maria Gerber is experienced and providers her clients with personal, yet aggressive representation. She and her staff at Gerber Law provide personal service and support to their clients and can help dog bite victims obtain economic recovery for their damages through aggressive legal representation in court, in her investigation and in negotiations.


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What to Do if a Dog Bites You

If a dog bites you, be sure you are able to identify the animal. Being bit by a stray dog may mean a series of painful rabies shots. A bite from a rabid dog will kill the victim if the victim does not treat the rabies quickly. Do not try to yank away from the dog, because it will simply bite down harder. Seek medical attention immediately.

If a dog bites you and someone owns that dog, you may be able to receive compensation. Compensation may be important to pay for medical bills, cosmetic surgery and reimbursement for lost income, as well as pain and suffering. Once you are able, you should try to determine the full name of the dog's rightful owner, as well as the owner's physical address, phone number and all of his or her contact information. This information is necessary to determine if insurance coverage exists and the amount of coverage available. Additionally, you should inquire as to the condition and health of the dog and report the incident to the police, animal services and the health department.

If the dog's owner is insured, you may receive a call from an insurance agent. If an insurance agent calls, make sure you get the following information:

  • The name, address and telephone number of insurance company;
  • The claim number; and
  • The name of the insured person.

You should not:

  • Discuss anything else involving money;
  • Accept any money or any money offer;
  • Set up an appointment;
  • Write a memo or a letter;
  • Allow anyone to photograph you;
  • Permit anyone to tape record you; or
  • Discuss who is responsible.

Different kinds of damages and losses, such as past and future medical bills, emotional damage, future income opportunities and more may occur if you are a dog bite victim. Because of the complicated legalities and dealing with insurance companies, you need an experienced personal injury attorney who can look out for your best interests. In Florida, you can recover damages for a dog bite if you were on the premises lawfully, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. With offices in Sarasota and Venice, Florida, Maria Gerber is always available to help dog bite victims and take their claims seriously.

Dog Bite Prevention

The way to avoid a dog bite is through prevention. Tips include:

  • Never pet a dog without asking the owner’s permission. If the owner gives the OK, approach the dog slowly, and let the dog sniff your hand. Only then should you pet the dog.
  • Never try to pet a dog sitting in its owner’s car. Dogs are very protective of their space, as well as their owners' space.
  • Never approach a dog that is sleeping or eating. If a dog is startled or frightened, it will be more likely to bite.
  • Never pet a dog that is behind a fence. A fenced dog will most likely bite because it is defending its territory and protecting its owner's property.
  • Never pet a dog that is playing with a toy. The dog may think you are trying to take the toy and may become aggressive.

It is easy to forget that dogs are animals because they are pets that live in our homes, and we consider them family members. They are animals, however, and their behavior can sometimes be unpredictable and dangerous. The most important lesson when dealing with strange dogs is to use common sense.

Dog Attack Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, across the country, dogs bite around 4.5 million people every year. Nearly 900,000 people require medical attention for dog bites, and some of them will need to remain hospitalized. Further, dogs kill 26 people each year nationwide. Usually, there are several fatalities in Florida every year. Most of the people who dogs bite or kill are children, and most of the bites are in the facial area.

Dog bites vary in severity; some dog bites leave the victims with painful puncture wounds, while others can tear skin and muscle and even break bones. The injuries can lead to infection, scarring and nerve damage. Severe dog bites can cause blood loss and death. The larger the dog and the smaller the person, the greater the injury. Dog attacks can leave the victim with lasting physical and emotional scars, especially if the victim is a child.

The most aggressive breeds of dog, such as pit bulls, chows and wolf-dog hybrids, are largely responsible for dog bites. However, any type of dog can suddenly attack and seriously injure or kill. Dogs with reputations as good family pets, such as Labradors and Dalmatians can become vicious given the right circumstances. If you are the victim of a dog bite in the southwest coast of Florida, please contact Gerber Law for a FREE initial consultation.

Contact a Dog Bite Attorney in Sarasota Today

No case is too big or too small, and Gerber Law treats every client with understanding and respect. Maria is herself a personal injury victim, so she understands what her clients are going through. If another person's dog has bitten you or your child, you need a Sarasota injury lawyer who offers personal, yet aggressive representation.

Contact Gerber Law today for a FREE consultation if you have been the victim of a dog bite. Unlike large companies, Ms. Gerber treats her clients in a personal and caring way. You will always work directly with a lawyer. Gerber Law serves the southwest coast of Florida.


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