While a well-trained dog can be a friendly and dependable companion, a poorly trained or overly aggressive dog can be extremely dangerous for anyone to be around. That is especially true of young children and elderly adults. Fortunately, Florida state law is generous in terms of the rights it gives people to take legal action against a dog’s owner and hold them financially accountable for injuries they sustained.
Experienced personal injury attorneys know that identifying someone as liable for an injury and getting a positive outcome in a civil lawsuit are two very different things. If you want the best chance of getting compensation from your case, seeking representation from a Miramar Beach dog bite lawyer is an important first step.
Florida Statutes § 767.04 generally holds dog owners “strictly liable” for injuries their dog causes by biting another person. This is true even if that dog had never attacked anyone before or the owner had no reasons to know of their dog’s violent or aggressive tendencies. More specifically, this strict liability applies to any bite injury that occurs while the victim was in a public place or lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s home.
This strict liability only applies to injuries caused by dog bites, not to injuries caused by any other type of dog attack—for example, a dog jumping on someone and knocking them to the ground. If someone suffers injuries because of a dog attacking them in a non-biting way, they may still be able to hold the dog’s owner liable for damages if they can prove that owner was negligent in how they restrained and cared for their pet.
Additionally, dog owners are generally not strictly liable for bite injuries to people who were trespassing at the time of the bite. They can often absolve themselves of liability for possible future bites by posting a clear and easily understood sign on their property that includes the words “Bad Dog.” A Miramar Beach dog bite attorney could offer further guidance during an initial consultation about whether a particular incident could be litigated for damages.
On top of physical injuries which may include lacerations, damage to muscles and tendons, and even broken bones, improperly treated dog bites can sometimes lead to infections with potentially life-threatening consequences. A Miramar Beach dog bite attorney could factor the past and expected future costs of treating these injuries into a comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand. Other damages that could be a part of a claim include:
It is important to work with legal counsel so that all losses are accounted for and the plaintiff can rest comfortably without having to worry about the legal hurdles.
Even the nicest dogs can be surprisingly aggressive if they feel physically threatened. Dogs that are already more inclined to violent behavior can cause serious injuries if not properly controlled. With help from Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, you might be able to hold the dog owner liable for various losses connected to your injuries.
Guidance from a Miramar Beach dog bite lawyer could make a big difference in how your case progresses. Call today to set up a free consultation with one of our well-respected team members.