If a dog bites you while you are on someone’s property with permission or in a public place, the dog owner can be liable for your injuries. In Florida, the dog owner can be liable even if the dog has never bit anyone before.
Proving Liability Under Florida’s Dog Bite Statute
Some states impose liability on a dog owner for biting you only if the dog bit someone before or if the dog demonstrated a dangerous propensity. Florida has a statute imposing strict liability on a dog owner.
When The Strict Liability Dog Bite Statute Applies
Whether the statute applies depends on where you were when the dog bit you. The statute applies in the following situations:
- You are in a public place, like a public park.
- You are on public transportation, such as a bus or train.
- You are in a private place with permission, for example, a friend’s dog bites you while you are in his house.
- You are on private property because the law or the postal service requires you to be—this can apply when a dog bites a police officer or mail carrier.
- You are on private property with implied permission, such as delivering a package to a home or performing a repair service.
When the Dog Bite Statute Does Not Apply
The dog bite statute does not apply when you are trespassing, as in, you are on someone’s property without permission.
The Effect on Liability if a Dog Owner Puts Up Sign
If a dog owner displays on his or her property a sign with the words “Bad Dog,” the owner is not liable under the dog bite statute, except in two circumstances:
- You are under six years old.
- The negligent act or omission of the dog owner caused the damage.
Additionally, the “Bad Dog” sign must be in a prominent place and easy to read.
Liability of the Dog Owner When the Statute Does Not Apply
The dog bite statute does not preclude any other basis for recovery for any injuries. A lawyer can show the dog owner was negligent and the dog owner’s negligence caused the dog to bite you. For example, the owner posted a “Bad Dog” sign but knew the dog had a dangerous propensity, invited you on the property, and did not restrain the dog.
Call 1-800-747-3733 to see how a dog bite lawyer in Weston, FL may be able to help you even if the statute does not apply.
When You Must File a Dog Bite Lawsuit
In Florida, you must file a lawsuit to recover compensation for a dog bite within four years of your injury. You can take certain actions right after the accident to help your case:
- Get the name of the owner of the dog that bit you.
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who saw the dog bite.
- See a doctor for your injuries.
You should also report the incident to animal control. The dog may need to be quarantined to see if it has rabies.
Do not wait until the time for filing suit is about to expire to contact a dog bite lawyer in Weston, FL. Our injury lawyers will examine any photos you have, interview witnesses to the accident, and build your case against the dog owner. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today to get started: 1-800-747-3733.
Getting Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries
Some injuries from dog bites are minor, but both small and large dogs can cause severe injuries to children and even adults. Dogs can inflict major injuries in a very short time. Even a bite from a small dog, such as a bite in the face, can cause permanent damage.
Types of Injuries in Dog Bite Cases
Common injuries from dog bites include the following:
- Head injuries: The dog can cause you to fall and hit your head.
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement: A dog’s teeth can tear your skin, tissue, and muscle.
- Arm and leg injuries: In a dog attack, you try to protect yourself with your arms and legs. This can result in skin tears, muscle damage, and even bone fractures.
- Eye injuries: A scratch to your eye can impair your vision.
- Infections: A dog’s teeth or nails can cause an infection.
- Emotional injuries: Following a dog attack, you can experience fear and pain. You can also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after the event.
Compensation You May Recover in a Dog Bite Case
Compensation you can recover for a dog bite includes the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Reaching a Settlement for Your Injuries
The dog owner’s homeowner’s liability insurance policy may cover your injuries. We negotiate with the insurance company and attorneys for the other side to get a settlement that compensates you for your injuries. Most cases settle, but if our lawyers cannot get a reasonable settlement, we can take the matter to court.
If you suffered a dog bite, you may recover compensation from the dog owner. A dog bite lawyer in Weston, FL can help. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.