Dog Bites

Have you been the victim of a dog bite or pet attack?

4.5 million people are bitten by animals every year, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  20% of the people bitten by pets need medical attention.  In 2006 alone, over 31,000 victims had to go through reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite.  Unfortunately, most animal bite victims are children between 5 and 9 years old.  Besides the physical scars, dog bites often leave psychological damage, especially to children.  When you look at these statistics, it’s scary how common animal and dog bites are.

Who is responsible if a dog bites you, your child, or a family member?

Almost always, the dog owner is personally responsible if their animal attacks you or your pet.   Usually a home owners insurance policy will cover dog bites, but more and more often insurance companies are refusing to cover attacks by certain breeds of dogs.  Those breeds include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Huskies, and Presa Canarios.

If you live in an apartment or condo where residents don’t have home owners insurance policies, the landlord or property manager could also be liable for an attack depending on their rules about pets.  Any time you’re attacked by an animal, you should talk to an attorney right away.  Every case is different so a detailed investigation of your attack by an experienced dog bite lawyer is the first step.

What should I  do after a dog bite or attack?

Document everything after an animal attack.  Below is a list of things you should do if you, your child or a family member is the victim of a bite or attack.

  1.  DO NOT TALK TO THE HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE COMPANY; let your personal injury attorney do the talking for you
  2. Get medical attention from a hospital or emergency room.
  3. Report the incident to your local animal control.
  4.  Document all injuries with photographs and paperwork from the place where you got treatment.
  5. Get the names and contact information for anyone who witnessed the attak.
  6. If possible photograph the area where the attack took place and the animal involved in the attack.
  7. Make sure your personal injury attorney has experience fighting insurance adjustors

Hiring an Experienced Dog Bite and Animal Attack Personal Injury Lawyer

Laurie Zimmerman spent years as the in-house attorney for insurance giant, Allstate, so she knows how these companies think and work.  Heading up Zimmerman and Zimmerman’s personal injury practice, Laurie has been able to help families across Sarasota and Manatee get the cash settlements they need to get back on their feet.   We work on a contingency basis, so there’s no cost to you unless we help you get a settlement.  Call Laurie Zimmerman at (941) 364-8503 today for a free dog bite injury consultation.