SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY
DOG ATTACKS AND DOG BITES
Dogs are a part of a large number of American families. Whether a miniature Chihuahua or a Great Dane, any dog is capable of attacking and/or biting you or a family member. In fact, approximately 800,000 individuals are treated at U.S. hospitals each year as a result of a dog attack or dog bite. Young children are especially vulnerable to a dog bite or dog attack. These can result in serious injuries such as:
- Lacerations and cuts from the dog’s teeth and/or claws
- Puncture-type wounds
- Crushing wounds and/or broken bones from a dog’s powerful jaws
- Broken bones, head injuries, and spine and neck injuries if a dog jumps at you and knocks you to the ground
- Infectious diseases such as rabies
Florida law does allow those who are injured in a dog bite or dog attack incident to recover monetary compensation for their injuries from the dog’s owner. Special laws are in place that help make this process more expedited, but not necessarily simpler.
Approximately 800,000 individuals are treated at U.S. hospitals each year as a result of a dog attack or dog bite.
Dog Bites, Dog Attacks, and Strict Liability
Florida law generally holds the owner of a dog liable for any injuries that the dog causes to another person. This is true regardless of whether the dog had ever attacked anyone before it attacked you or your loved one. In fact, the owner does not even need to know of any vicious tendencies of the dog in order to be found responsible. This statute is one example of a strict liability statute, which imposes liability on the defending party without requiring the injured plaintiff to demonstrate carelessness or recklessness on the part of the defending party. There are important exceptions to this general rule, however. An experienced dog bite attorney can help determine whether any of these exceptions apply in your case:
- If you were negligent – such as by taunting the dog or teasing the dog – your compensation award may be reduced on account of your actions
- If you were not legally on the property where you were bit (in other words, if you were trespassing), you may not be entitled to any compensation
- Unless the person attacked or bit was under the age of 6 years old, an owner is not strictly liable for injuries caused by a dog where the owner placed a prominent sign that included the words “Bad Dog” (the owner can, however, be liable for any careless or negligent acts committed)
- Only the dog’s owner can be held strictly liable
Help for Dog Bite and Dog Attack Injury Victims
What appears to be a simple dog bite statute in Florida is actually quite complex, necessitating the services of a skilled dog bite and dog attack attorney. Our serious personal injury attorneys at Burnett Wilson Reeder stand ready to help your family recover damages from the owner of a dog that either bit you or attacked you or your loved one. We have experience in investigating dog bite and dog attack incidents and will devote our skill and knowledge to obtaining the compensation you need for your expenses, losses, and pain. Contact us immediately at (813) 221-5000 after a dog bite or dog attack to schedule a free initial consultation and allow us to serve you.