Another kind of personal injury case involves injuries arising out of dog bites. Regardless of the theory of the case, several factors will play into whether an injured person will be successful in a lawsuit involving a dog bite. Such factors may include whether the injured person was trespassing on the dog owner’s property; whether the injured person was taunting the dog in some way; the severity of the bite; and whether the dog has a history of being aggressive and whether the dog is of a breed that is considered to be dangerous. In this blog post, we will discuss dog bite injury laws in Florida and the theories of liability that are applied in dog bite injury cases.
Theories of Liability in Dog Bite Cases
Some states have what is known as a “one free bite” rule. This means that, under ordinary circumstances, the dog owner would not be responsible for the dog’s first bite. In Florida, the “one free bite” rule has been abolished. This means that the individual who is injured in a dog attack is no longer required to prove that the dog showed vicious propensities prior to the attack. Essentially, the individual only must prove that the dog owner was careless in confining or handling the dog and that this led to the attack. Liability in dog bite cases usually hinges on one of two theories of liability. In the first scenario, an individual may file a lawsuit after being bitten and allege that the owner of the dog was negligent in allowing the dog to be put into a position where it could bite the victim. In that scenario, the individual who was bitten must prove the basic elements of a negligence claim which include: duty, breach, causation, and damages. This scenario is not common in Florida because Florida has enacted strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites. The intricacies of strict liability laws can be complex, but the basic principle is that a dog owner will be strictly liable when their dog bites another person regardless of whether the owner committed any acts of negligence that contributed to the injury. In Florida, In Florida an owner of a dog that bites a person while the person is in a public place or lawfully on or in a private place including the owner’s own property is strictly liable for damages, but comparative fault can limit Plaintiff’s damages; if the owner posts a “Bad Dog” sign, the owner is only liable if negligent or if the dog bites someone under six (6) years old.
Let Our Personal Injury Lawyers Help! Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
If you or someone you love were injured as a result of a dog bite attack, our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you. Having experienced lawyers fighting for you can mean the difference between winning top dollar for your claim and receiving no compensation at all. You may be wondering how exactly is it that a personal injury attorney can assist you with your claim. Well, a personal injury lawyer can help you in many ways. The first thing we can do is review your case to see if it is compensable. This is done during an initial consultation or first meeting. Having an experienced attorney look at your case can be of tremendous value. If your case is compensable, an attorney will either send an initial settlement demand letter or file a complaint depending on what stage of the personal injury process your case is in. Once a case is filed, the discovery phase of your case begins. In the discovery phase, we will obtain many pieces of evidence. For example, we obtain witness testimony, medical records and bills, police reports, and any other information that is necessary to get a full understanding of your injury case. Another aspect of the discovery process is the possibility of initiating negotiations with the opposing side to resolve the claim. In some cases, a mediator may be called in to try to help both sides achieve an agreeable settlement. If a settlement cannot be obtained, the next step will be to prepare to take your case to court, where it will usually be tried in front of a jury. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation!
We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:
Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.
Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.