Pensacola is a dog-friendly region, with plenty of dog-friendly venues and beaches around. However, there may be dogs running loose that have a propensity to be violent. And, that means you could find yourself bitten without provocation. A dog bite can cause severe injuries, with ridiculously expensive medical bills. In the event you or a loved one were bitten by someone else’s dog and suffered injuries, it’s imperative to speak with a dog bite lawyer in Pensacola right away.
At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, we represent clients throughout Pensacola for a variety of personal injury claims, including dog bites. We are well-versed in dog bite and other animal attack cases, and know what defenses the dog owner’s attorney will use to try and reduce the settlement amount. We also understand what a stressful and traumatic time this is for you. Our job is to help you get through this while protecting your rights.
Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. The law holds a dog owner liable when his or her dog bites someone else in a public place. The owner can also be held liable if the attack occurred in a private place provided the dog bite victim was on the property lawfully. In the event the dog had previously displayed vicious behavior, the owner could be held liable, even if he or she didn’t know the dog had a propensity for viciousness.
While there is strict liability, the law doesn’t condone behavior by a supposed victim that contributed to the dog biting them. In regard to general negligence, Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that a dog bite victim could see their compensation reduced by the percentage of their negligence that contributed to the bite. In easier to understand terms, if the victim taunted the dog, he or she may be found partially liable. Their compensation may be reduced by the percentage of negligence he or she contributed to the incident by taunting the dog.
In most cases, the dog owner will file a claim under their homeowner’s insurance policy. This means you will need to negotiate with the other party’s insurance adjuster if you attempt to pursue a claim on your own. The insurance process can make an already overwhelming situation seem even worse. However, when you retain a knowledgeable Pensacola dog bite attorney, he or she will handle the arduous insurance claims process.
Your attorney will make sure all the proper documentation and papers are filed timely and with the proper courts. He or she will also be the one who handles all the negotiations while you focus on getting better and recovering from your injuries.
If you or a loved one were bitten by someone else’s dog and suffered injuries, contact Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today to schedule an initial consultation. Sit down with our experienced staff and learn how we can help you pursue reimbursement for your damages.