There are mainly two principles followed in the United States for dog bite lawsuits – one-bite rule and the strict liability principle. Under the one-bite rule, the owner of the dog may not face legal trouble the first time his or her dog bites someone, and if there is no reason to believe that the pet is threatening. This approach is practiced by some states, such as Alaska and Nevada.
In the state of Florida, however, the strict liability rule applies. This tenet means that the dog owner can be sued for liability even if the pet bites for the first time, provided that specific requirements are met.
If you have been attacked and bitten by a pet dog in the Sunshine State while you’re lawfully in a private or public place, you can hire a Florida personal injury lawyer and sue for compensation for your losses. While Florida laws are inherently favorable to victims, the defense lawyer of the dog owner will do its best to shift the blame on your side.
To increase your winning chance, you need to hire a competent and reputable attorney. While many lawyers in the area will guarantee victory, it’s crucial to separate the frauds from the good ones. Here are the dos and don’ts that you may consider when searching for a highly-skilled Florida Personal Injury Lawyer:
Do Consider Experience
Ensure that the attorney you’re considering has experience in handling personal injury claims on dog bites or dog attacks in Florida. He should also know the ins and outs of Florida statutes on this issue to help build a credible case.
To assess the lawyer’s experience, you can ask about the cases he or she handled and how each one turned out. Find out the average compensation recovered among his or her winning cases. Ultimately, it’s best to have a lawyer with a proven track record of success as you can rest assured that he or she knows how to get the job done.
Do Not Forget to Check Clients’ Feedback
Filing a lawsuit is difficult, not only because you have to build up a case, but the process itself can be stressful. To ease the burden, you need a legal expert who is both competent and trustworthy to help in this regard.
How can you know if the attorney is pleasant to work with? Ask previous clients. If you cannot talk to them personally, you can read online reviews and testimonials.
Do Consider Referrals
If you have an extensive network in Florida, you should ask around for referrals. If a trusted friend or relative knows a personal injury lawyer in the area, you can ask for their contact information. You can also reach out to prominent members of the community as they will likely know who are the competent lawyers in the state.
Do Not Skip the Initial Consultation
Practically all law firms offer a free initial consultation, and you should take advantage of it. Meeting the lawyer face to face is your opportunity to ask questions and discuss your concern. Take note of the attorney’s demeanor and his explanations on how he or she intends to proceed with your case. Ultimately, a personal meeting will help you determine if the lawyer is the right fit for you and your situation.
Suffering from dog bites can be a traumatic experience, especially if you need to undergo expensive and painful medical procedures. Make sure that the right person will be held accountable for your loss. Consider the tips above to help you find an excellent personal injury attorney in Florida who can protect your interest and claim damages on your behalf.