No matter the size or breed, dogs have the potential to injure a person or damage their property.
Dog bite claims, as with all personal injury claims, involve a degree of disregard. A person who owns a dog, whether it has a reputation for being dangerous or not, has a responsibility to protect the people it comes in contact with from harm. This person is responsible for paying damages to the victim.
The Dog Owner's Responsibility
Florida law states that a person bitten by a dog is entitled to benefits if they were:
- in a public place
- not being negligent or provoking the animal
- invited (expressly or implied) onto private property
- performing an employment duty under the law (such as delivering mail or reading a power meter)
- otherwise lawfully on the property
The owner of the dog may be protected from a law suit or claim if they have a sign displaying the words "bad dog" or something to that effect on their property. However, if a child under 6 years old is bitten, the sign's presence doesn't matter.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim in Florida
If the victim chooses to press charges, then the dog's owner may be found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. They may face fines or jail time. In cases where the dog is known to be dangerous, the owner may face felony charges and more severe consequences. The victim may be able to claim medical and other damages if their case is pursued and their injuries are serious.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Florida
It's important to collect information surrounding the event if you choose to file a claim. If you were performing a job or invited onto someone's private property, it is vital to collect documentation that proves this. The owner's contact information is also important. Your damages are proportional to the injuries and how liable the dog's owner is for your those injuries. The more evidence available, the more liability can be proven, and the more benefits your can collect. A personal injury attorney at the Coye Law Firm can help you sort this information and use it to strengthen your case.
Whether on public or private property, a person bitten by a dog may be able to seek compensation for their medical costs or emotional suffering under certain circumstances. Call the Coye Law Firm's experienced dog bite attorneys to discuss your case and possible avenues of liability. Our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to serving the people of central Florida.
Call us for a free consultation.