Florida Dog Bite Laws
Personal injury attorneys work through various types of accidents, resulting in various types of injuries, ranging from minimal to detrimental. A common area that personal injury attorneys work with is dog bite accidents. Dog bite accidents may occur unexpectedly, and can occur for various reasons. Common reasons for dog bite accidents include dominance aggression of the dog, protection of valuables, fear aggression, maternal aggression, redirected aggression, and pain-induced aggression. Depending on where the incident took place, dog bite laws vary across states. The following restrictions are based off of Florida Dog Bite Law, and other state dog bite laws should be researched for further clarification.
According to Florida Dog Bite Law, it is the dog owner’s liability if another person becomes bitten by a dog. The dog owner of the dog that bites a person in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, including the dog owner’s property, the dog owner is responsible for injuries, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. If the dog owner can prove that the accident victim displayed negligence, the owner’s liability may be reduced. If you become bitten by a dog, immediately seek medical attention. In addition to allowing a medical professional to assess your physical condition after the dog bite, medical reports will help your claim, if you wish to file a claim in the future. Additionally, medical professionals may provide medication and ointment to clean the bite, preventing further infection from occurring.
Florida Law also details some restrictions for when to file a lawsuit after a dog bite accident. The statute of limitations requires that an injured person must file their lawsuit in Florida’s civil court system, within four years of the dog bite accident. If you fail to file the lawsuit within this time frame, it is likely that the court will not hear your case. Florida is a “Strict Liability” Dog Bite State, meaning a dog owner may be held responsible if their dog bites another, even if the owner had no prior knowledge of warning that the dog would bite. The injured person is not required to prove that a lack of reasonable care resulted in the attack.
In Florida, a dog owner has two ways to defend themselves against a dog bite claim. One way is if the owner can prove the plaintiff was trespassing, or comparative negligence. If the injured person was “unlawfully” in a place where the dog bite occurred, the dog owner could argue that the injured person was trespassing, and therefore unable to collect compensation. In order for the dog owner to prove comparative negligence, they must prove that the injury victim’s negligence partially caused the dog bite accident. Owners can potentially prevent their dog from biting, especially if the dog has a history of biting, by keeping the dog on a leash, and preventing the dog from coming close to strangers and their dogs.
All of the discussed information is based off of Florida law, and other state dog bite laws may vary. In the event that you become attacked by a dog, immediately seek medical attention. If a dog creates an open wound, this must be treated by a medical professional. Exchange contact information with the dog owner, and information about the dog, including the type of dog it is, their color, approximate weight, etc. If you become attacked by a job, seek a personal injury attorney to obtain the potential compensation you may be entitled to.
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