Dog Bite Lawyer Tampa, Florida
When you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Tampa, Florida, you should turn to Jeff Murphy Law Firm for help. Guided by a passion for the law and a dedication to helping injured victims, we have successfully recovered millions in damages for our clients. Dog bite cases tend to be rife with challenges. Before you ignore taking legal action or attempt to handle the case on your own, call a dog bite lawyer Tampa, Florida families know and trust.
Leading Causes of Dog Bites in Tampa, Florida
Dog bites can occur for any number of reasons. When you call our dog bite lawyer in Tampa, Florida, you will be asked about what happened. We will carefully listen and help you to know whether or not you may have valid grounds to file a claim. Included in our conversation may be a brief overview about why the dog may have attacked. This is an important consideration because it may be a determining factor in whether you have a case. It may also assist in the prevention of further attacks. As a Tampa, Florida dog bite lawyer, we have found that most attacks have been the result of:
- The dog was protecting the owner
- The dog was guarding their “territory”
- The dog was eating
- The dog was guarding its puppies
- The dog was protecting it’s toys or belongings
- The dog was scared
- The dog was intimidated or teased
- The dog was injured or sick
- The dog was attacked by the victim or someone else nearby
- The dog was playing and bit too hard
Before compensation can be recovered, a dog bite lawyer in Tampa, Florida will need to demonstrate negligence or liability. This is often considerably challenging which is why it is important to have the right lawyer on your side.
How Liability is Proven
In general, a dogs’ owner is responsible for the actions of their pet. There are some exceptions to this rule, and when this is true, the liability may fall onto another person. Some situations in which the owner may not be liable include, but are not limited to:
- The owner of the dog is under 18 years of age.
- The owner relinquished care of the dog to another person/ entity.
- A property owner knew they allowed a renter/buyer to bring a dangerous dog onto the property.
- The dog was trespassing on another property, and failed to remove the dog.
If the above situations apply, a dog bite lawyer in Tampa, Florida may pursue another party for compensation.
When A Claim May Not Be Possible
There exists some scenarios in which a dog bite victim may not be able to file a claim. These include:
- You were trespassing.
- You were breaking and entering.
- You provoked a dog, and caused it to bite.
In general, you should always call a dog bite lawyer in Tampa, Florida before you assume that you do, or do not have, a case. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, and believe it was not your fault, our firm encourages you to reach out to one of our dog bite lawyers in Tampa, Florida as soon as possible.
If you have been injured due to a dog bite, it is important that you get medical attention immediately and then contact a dog bite lawyer in Tampa, FL at Jeff Murphy Law Firm for legal assistance. We have represented many clients just like you, who were attacked or bitten by a dog which led to serious injury and possibly an infection too. Many people wrongfully assume that most dog bite incidents are from larger breeds. But the fact is that all dogs regardless of size can be dangerous. As long as the canine has teeth, then others are vulnerable to physical damage if he or she decides to bite.
Here are several ways that the victim in a dog bite can sustain physical injury:
As a Tampa, FL dog bite lawyer has seen in many dog bite incidents before, abrasions can occur when teeth cause superficial damage to the skin. Very mild grazing of the skin doesn’t often lead to a scar, but deeper abrasions can. The top layers of skin can get damaged or removed entirely from the dog biting and then dragging teeth along as he or she pulls away.
If a dog bites straight down hard and then lets up, puncture wounds can be left behind. The victim’s skin could have been punctured enough to cause bleeding, even to the point where there are holes that go all the way through the skin. When a dog punctures, the bacteria of the teeth can be transferred to the wound potentially leading to a very complicated infection. If you suffered an infection due to a dog bite, we advise speaking with Jeff Murphy Law Firm right away for guidance.
Avulsions can happen when the skin or flesh is torn away from the rest of the body. If the skin is too damaged beyond repair, then it may have to be removed by your doctor. Avulsions can take more attention and care when healing, since the wound cannot be stitched up if tissue is missing.
From the high force of a dog’s jaws, it can cause bone fractures. There are many ways that a bone may fracture, so visiting a doctor for treatment is recommended to ensure the area heals normally. If you had to go to the doctor for a bone fracture, obtain copies of your medical documents related to this injury and be sure to share it with your Florida dog bite lawyer in Tampa at Jeff Murphy Law Firm. We can use these documents as proof of the incident and to show how impacted you were by the dog attack.
Here are examples of how a bone may fracture due to a dog bite:
- Complete fracture
- Linear fracture
- Incomplete fracture
- Transverse fracture
- Compression fracture
- Oblique fracture
- Comminuted fracture
- Open fracture
- Compacted fracture
Needless to say, dog bites can be terribly painful and the most important thing is to take steps towards preventing further injury or infection from brewing. Once you have found the owner, reported the incident to the police and gathered evidence, then it’s time to get yourself medical attention promptly. A dog’s canine teeth can grab and puncture tissue, with the smaller teeth tearing at the skin. What often results in a jagged, open, and bleeding wound.
The biggest concern is whether an infection is going to develop. Those who become infected because of a canine bite, may have to be hospitalized or given emergency antibiotics. After you have left the scene, it is critical that you get the care you need and contact a dog bite lawyer in Tampa, Florida for assistance. The longer you wait, the more your risk for infection increases. Don’t ever hesitate to get care after a dog bite incident.
How soon after the incident should I see my doctor?
While you can perform at-home care to your wound, it is generally recommended that you see your doctor within eight hours post dog bite. If you are someone who was diagnosed with diabetes or an immunocompromised condition, then your risk of infection is even greater. As you are getting ready to visit your doctor, it can help to take the following steps first:
- Press on the wound with a firm yet gentle pressure, to help stop the bleeding and flush out bacteria.
- Wash the dog bite wound with soap that is mild and rinse with water.
- Slow the bleeding down by damping it with a freshly cleaned cloth.
- Use antibiotic cream if you have any (over-the-counter is just fine).
- Wrap your wound area in a bandage, and then go see your doctor.
What is my doctor going to do about my wound?
Your doctor is likely to suggest changing the bandage a few times daily, and watching for signs of an infection, including swelling, pain at the site, fever, and redness. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic, which you must take as instructed to help prevent an infection. If needed, you may get a booster shot for tetanus if you are overdue. Based on the depth of the wound, you may need stitches too. But in general, dog bite wounds are left open to heal on their own, unless the laceration was so severe that the bleeding won’t stop.
If you had to pay out of pocket expenses for treatment of your wound, then we urge you to contact a Tampa dog bite lawyer at Jeff Murphy Law Firm about seeking financial compensation from the dog owner.
What kind of bacteria is in a dog’s mouth?
Just like human mouths and other animals we share the world with, dogs have several kinds of bacteria that could cause us harm. About 1 out of every 2 incidents of dog bites result in bacteria such as streptococcus, pasteurella, staphylococcus, and capnocytophaga being introduced into the wound. Feral or unvaccinated dogs can potentially be carriers for rabies, so your doctor will need to know more information about the dog that bit you. If you located the owner of the dog, perhaps you can request vaccine records to provide to your doctor.
As the victim of a dog bite, you may be entitled to financial compensation for what happened. Please contact a FL dog bite lawyer in Tampa at Jeff Murphy Law Firm for a free consultation regarding how we can help and what actions you can take.