Orlando Dog Bite Attorneys
Dogs, while loving and comforting animals, also have the potential to be vicious, aggressive, or to lash out when stressed or nervous. As such, injuries caused by a dog bite/dog attack are relatively common, and can leave victims with serious negative effects, ranging from infection to scarring to psychological harm.
When a dog bites a person in Florida, that person has the right to hold the owner of the dog liable for their injuries. If you need help recovering compensation after a dog bite, contact our Florida dog bite lawyers today for your free consultation.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites in Florida
Florida law holds owners of dog strictly liable for the damages that their dogs cause via bite. Strict liability means that the victim of the dog bite need not prove the dog owner’s negligence in order to be compensated for their injuries assuming that:
- The dog bites the victim; and
- The bite/attack occurs on any public place.
This strict liability for dog bites statute is found in Florida Code Section 767.04.
Florida Dog Bite Negligence Law
While you may hold the owner of the dog that bit you strictly liable for your dog bite injury under Florida law, you may also file a negligence-based suit against the owner of the dog. If you file a negligence-based suit, you will have to prove that the owner of the dog failed to act with a reasonable amount of care to prevent the dog bite from occurring, or violated a statute or law (known as negligence per se). Negligence based suits are often preferable when the dog had a history of being dangerous and injuries are particularly severe, warranting the recovery of compensation for pain, suffering, psychological injury, disfigurement, and other noneconomic damages.
Comparative Negligence and Dog Bites
It is important to note that your own negligence may detract from your ability to recover compensation after suffering a dog bite in Florida. According to the same section of Florida code cited above, any negligence on the part of the person who is bitten that contributed to the dog bite (i.e. harassing a dog) reduces the liability of the owner in proportion to the negligence of the victim. In other words, if you suffered $1,000 in medical bills after a dog bite, but were found to be 10 percent at fault for the dog bite, your damages would be reduced by $100 and the owner of the dog would only be liable for $900.
What Should I Do after a Dog Bite in Florida?
Knowing whether you should pursue a claim under statutory law or negligence laws after a dog bite can be confusing, especially if you aren’t sure what constitutes negligence or how to prove it. In order to guide you through the process and help you to recover the compensation that you deserve for your losses, you should work with an experienced Florida dog bite attorney. Our lawyers at the offices of Moses & Rooth care about you, and want to meet with you to discuss your case for free today.