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Dog Bites And Florida Law

Nearly six out of ten American homes include a pet according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. The dog has always been man’s best friend. They lower our stress levels, give us a reason to exercise and bring happiness and love to our lives. But as animals they can attack and leave a person with dangerous, even life threatening injuries. The CDC reports that every year about 20 people die from dog attacks and about 585,000 people are injured from pets of family or friends and usually on the owners property.

What To Do If Attacked By A Dog

If you find yourself in a position of imminent danger, there are some steps you can take to try and protect yourself. First off notice if the animal is being aggressive. They will show their teeth, growl and will square off with you. If you see this here are some steps to take:

● Avoid eye contact as it will provoke the dog more
● Turn your body to the side to indicate submission
● Wait for the dog to stop moving and walk slowly away. Do not run!!!
● Do not try to communicate with the dog. Often they see it as a sign of you challenging them.

If these steps fail, and you cannot avoid being attacked, curl into a ball and protect your face and call for help. Do not try to fight the dog as it will only increase aggression.

What To Do After A Dog Attack

Once you have identified the owner, seek medical attention immediately. Take pictures of your injuries and bites and once you have been cleared by your doctor, file a dog attack report with the police or applicable city or country authority. Make sure you find out if the dog is licensed and registered in Florida as it is required by law.

Dog Bites And Florida Law

When it comes to dog bites, Florida is a “strict liability” state, which means an owner is liable for their dog bite even if they were not aware the animal can be aggressive. Florida also does not require the victim to prove their injuries were due to the owner’s negligence. If the dog bites you in a public space or are lawfully on private land. As a victim you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries under the following law clams:

• Negligence: An owner can be found negligent if they failed to provide a level of care that a reasonable person would have behaved in similar circumstances.

• Negligence Per Se: If the dog owner violated statutes or regulations that are put in place to protect and ensure the safety of the public, they can be held liable.

• Scienter: This legal term intent or knowledge of wrongdoing. Also known as the “one bite rule”, this provision allows anyone who has knowledge of the dog’s attack history or other attempted bites to also be held liable for damages.

• Intentional Tort: In certain circumstances a claim of battery can be pursued if the owner intended for his dog to attack you.

While every claim is different, if negligence is proven you are entitled to the following economic and non-economic compensation:

● Past and future medical expenses
● Lost wages and time at work
● Lost future earning capacity
● Pain and suffering

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at All Law Firm will be happy to meet with you and discuss your legal options. Personal injury law is what we do. Our team has the experience and reputation you need to get the compensation you deserve.