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I am being fraudulently accused of a personal injury claim. Animal Injury, Dog Bite

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by mkhella, Aug 30, 2009.

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  1. mkhella

    mkhella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My jurisdiction is: Florida

    Several months ago (12/08) I was on the grass near my mailbox with my 8 month old German Shepherd puppy when a neighbor from one street over walked up behind me and startled the puppy who was concentrating more on "doing his business". The puppy swung me around and jumped up. I immediately yanked his leash and pulled him down. His nose made contact with her arm. She immediately yelled that the dog had bit her. I was shocked because I was standing right there and he did not bite her. About 30 minutes later Animal Control came to my door and said that the neighbor called them, he examined her, there was no bite, but that she had the right to cite me because the puppy did jump. He told me that he would give her two weeks to decide. During those two weeks she began calling me and telling me that her shoulder hurt and that, as an artist, she may never be able to do her art work again. After two weeks, the Animal Control officer called and said that he was going to come out to cite me but then discovered that she submitted an affidavit with pictures of a bloody wound. She claims that 4 hours after the officer examined her she was sipping a cup of tea and the wound opened. The officer dropped all charges and did not cite me. Now several months later she is filing a civil suit against me claiming that the dog leapt from 16 feet away, and mauled her for 3-4 minutes while I stood by and watched. She is claiming injury to her wrist and shoulder. She initially tried to go through my insurance company, but my policy for animal injuries is quite limited and she is suing for several hundred thousands of dollars.
    This lawsuit has totally disrupted our family life. It has made me more stressed than I have ever been. This woman has gone door to door telling all of our neighbors her story and creating an extremely uncomfortable environment for myself and my family. I guess my question really is; Can she do this with no repercussions? Can someone just fraudulently accuse someone for money and get away with it? Do I have any rights regarding what she has done to our family?

    Here are a few pieces of information that may be helpful:
    -She has filed a claim for the same shoulder in 94',95' and 97
    -When the insurance investigator interviewed her, the jacket that she showed the officer, which at the time he examined had no holes, now has a single hole. The investigator saw pencil marks along the lining near the hole.
    -when her wound magically appeared, she went to the ER for a tetanus shot, but never mentioned that her shoulder hurt.


    Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated! We do not meet with our insurance appointed lawyer for 2 more weeks and I feel like I'm going insane!
     
  2. FlaRiptide

    FlaRiptide New Member

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    Any one can bring a civil suit, yet whether they win or not will be determined by the Court. It is apparent this lunatic is trying to take advantage of the situation. You did not mention a police report, thus I assume there was none. The Animal Control officer decided not to cite you and thus must recognize that the lady is crazy. I doubt this lady would be able to validate any of her claims in court and her request for several hundred thousand is ludicrous.

    I'd say you can stop worrying and simply discuss how to handle this situation with the insurance attorney when you meet.
     
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  3. tpajet

    tpajet New Member

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    I would say that she is setup to loose this one. You need to try to contact the animal control officer that delt with this, that saw her arm right after and have him or her come to court to testify. She will then possibly be facing perjury charges.

    Also, I would see about filing a countersuit for emotional damages, or something along those lines, given what her false claims have put you through. Then I would see about filing a lible suit since she went to your neighbors.
     
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  4. capecod

    capecod New Member

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    Similar, and fraudulent claim

    I am very glad I found this forum, and this very thread. As we are being wrongly accused of a 'severe attack' by our dog who was never at the address given in the summons letter. We dont even know the people.
    I read your letter here and its given us the courage to learn here and then go on and fight this false accusation.
    I will post our details in a new thread here.
    Thank you!
     
  5. mkhella

    mkhella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This has been the most stressful thing I have ever gone through, and it's not over yet. The lawyer said it will take at least a year to fight it. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, I wouldn't wish this upon anyone! Good luck, and please re-post here so that I know how you are doing!
     
  6. capecod

    capecod New Member

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    I had almost forgotten about our fraudulent claim about our dog, as our insurance company said to let them handle the whole thing. Not to say or do anything until we hear from them. And the first thing they are doing is investigating to see if this guy has done any fraud or frivoulous claims in the past. They said it wouild take time to do this, and for us to be patient.
    They have lawyers themselves to do this.
    They also wrote a letter to that creep's lawyer for documentation of everything, as they could not go further unless they could PROVE that there was indeed an 'attack'. The guy changed his story and location, so he seems to be contradicting his own information.
    The insurance companies see this constantly.
    There is another thing that they can do, is to actually pay that creep off with as little $ as possible, and require him to sign off. All this paperwork will be and is being forwarded to me by email.
    See what your insurance company advises, yes, they warned me that these things do take a long time to resolve.
     

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