St. Petersburg Animal Attacks
An animal attack can happen anywhere – in your backyard, at a resort, or in a local park. Both wild animals and pets can inflict serious and deadly injuries. The physical and emotional scars of an attack can last for years and interfere with a victim’s quality of life. After a serious animal attack, you may need help determining liability and securing compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. At Williams Law, P.A., we represent all victims of animal attacks in St. Petersburg and surrounding areas.
Types of Animal Attacks in South Florida
Florida is home to an abundance of wildlife and domesticated animals. In our state, we hear all too often of unprovoked alligator attacks, python incidents, dog bites, wild boar attacks, and more. Some of these attacks are tragic accidents no one could have anticipated or prevented. Others, however, occur because someone failed to use a reasonable level of care to protect others from known hazardous animals.
Whether your neighbor’s dog bit you in an unprovoked attack or you suffered a wild animal attack on a business’s property, state and local liability laws may come into play. You may have an avenue for legal recourse and a way to hold negligent property and animal owners accountable.
What to Do After an Animal Attack
After an animal attack, you can take steps to protect your legal rights. Use the following tips to respond to any animal attack situation:
- Seek medical attention. Animals often carry nasty pathogens in their mouths. An initial puncture wound or laceration may seem minor, but they can cause serious infections and secondary complications hours or days after the attack. Visit a doctor as soon as possible.
- Call law enforcement and/or animal control. Always file a report after an animal attack to create legal documentation of the incident. If a wild animal attacked you, animal control specialists can take steps to secure and euthanize the animal. If a vicious pet dog or exotic animal bit you, professionals can quarantine the animal and question the owner to initiate an investigation.
- Document the incident. Take pictures of all injuries, the location of the attack, and any signage around the area. Record the names of any witnesses present, and write down what you remember about the attack.
As soon as possible after the incident, schedule a consultation with a local St. Petersburg personal injury attorney. At Williams Law, P.A., we can help you understand the laws that may apply in your case, liability issues, and the potential for recovery in your situation. Often, liability insurance covers animal attacks, giving you a way to pay for the losses you incur.
Liability in Animal Attack Claims
Determining liability is a key step in any personal injury claim. Depending on the animal attack situation, a pet owner, business owner, HOA, landlord, or private property owner may face liability in an animal attack claim.
Many homeowner’s insurance and renters’ insurance policies cover pet attacks and dog bites. Florida follows a strict liability rule in dog bite cases, meaning that dog owners will face liability for any bite – regardless of a dog’s known propensity for aggression – in most cases. Where strict liability applies, an insurance policy often provides the best option for compensation.
In addition to bites involving pets, our office also handles animal attacks that occur on business premises. If a property owner knows about the presence of dangerous wild animals and fails to reasonably reduce the likelihood of an attack or adequately warn visitors, the owner may face liability for the attack. Liability issues in wild animal attacks can be tricky to navigate, and the smallest details of a case may prove or disprove liability under current laws.
Partner With Williams Law, P.A. in St. Petersburg
In the wake of an animal attack, you need an attorney you can trust to conduct a thorough investigation and pursue a fair and full insurance settlement or trial verdict. At Williams Law, P.A., our team will protect your rights after a preventable animal attack. For more information about our practice or to schedule a free consultation, reach out to our office in St. Petersburg today.