According to Florida law, a dog owner is legally responsible for any harm due to a dog bite in a private or public space.
At MANGAL, PLLC – Clermont Personal Injury Law Firm, our experienced dog bite attorneys in Clermont, Florida know Florida dog bite laws inside out, and can help you seek the right compensation for your injuries due to an animal attack.
The time window for filing a lawsuit after an injury due to dog attack is limited. Contact MANGAL, PLLC today to speak with one of our legal experts to determine if you have a case. If you choose to wait for too long, you can even lose the chance to file a personal injury claim.
Pet owners are primarily responsible for the behavior of the animals they own, including when they bite a person. If you have been injured due to a dog bite in Florida, you do have the legal right to sue the pet owner for recompense. Below is a run-down of Florida laws related to dog bites by our qualified dog bite lawyers.
Florida’s dog bite statute does impose strict liability on pet owners, but there are a few situations, wherein a pet owner might not be held responsible should their pet bite someone.
If the dog bite victim was unlawfully on the private property of the dog owner, then the pet owner will perhaps not be held legally responsible for the injury. If a person is present on someone’s property unlawfully, it means that his or her presence is without an imposed law or duty to uphold.
Additionally, a pet owner may not be legally responsible for a dog bite if they have a “Beware of Dog” sign clearly readable and visible for people entering their property. However, if the sufferer in such a situation is below the age of 6 years, strict liability laws will be applicable.
Besides strict liability laws, the Sunshine State also imposes the law of comparative negligence, according to which, a dog owner may contest that the dog bite victim was partially liable for the incident.
For instance, if the dog bite incident took place partially because of the sufferer’s own negligence, the jury may adjust the recompense accordingly. If a victim shares one-fourth of the responsibility for the dog bite, they will only be awarded three-fourths of the total recompense. For pet owners, comparative negligence is quite a common defense.
Legal Damages from Dog Bite Claims
Every claim is unique, but Florida allows dog bite sufferers to get recompense for their losses due to a dog bite. They can file a claim to obtain both non-economic and economic damages to cover their:
● Present and future medical costs
● Loss of earning potential
● Lost income and time at work
● Pain and suffering
Florida Dog Bite Stats Revealing At-Risk Individuals
The warm weather of Florida makes it an excellent state for Floridians to exercise their pets, particularly dogs, and take them out for walks or other outdoor activities round the year. But, with so many pet owners, who either take them out or entertain visitors in their home, there is a greater likelihood of animal attack incidents to take place.
Except for home invasion situations that involve criminal activity, the state law typically favors dog attack sufferers. Whether or not the bite was deliberate, if a dog bites a person, then its owner will legally be held for injuries to the victim – irrespective of their awareness about their pet’s temperament.
An analysis of stats related to dog bite incidents in the recent past revealed recurring patterns and common factors. Here are several highlights of nationwide surveys on dog bite cases.
Summer Weekends are the Most Risky Time
Studies in which the time of a dog bite incident was confirmed, depicted that dog bites accidents happen mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. This shouldn’t surprise you since weekends are generally “off days” for the majority of working individuals. This is the time when they take their dogs out, get involved in outdoor activities, or have visitors at their home, where a dog is present.
With respect to months, studies have shown that the greatest number of dog bite incidents happen between May and August, with July being the month registering the highest number of dog bite cases.
Location of Dog Bite Injuries
The most common body areas of injury due to a dog attack are as follows:
This is perhaps the most common area of injury due to a dog bite, which is not quite surprising as most of such attacks happen when individuals try to pet animals while neglecting the fact that they are provoked or threatened.
Shockingly, this is the second most common body part targeted by dogs. This is probably due to the fact that an animal’s hunting instinct identifies the face as a vulnerable area as it is where important sensory organs such as ears and eyes are located, the quick impairment of which can affect performance.
● Lower Arm:
The third most common body area of injury is the lower arm. This is obvious since being attached to the hand, many people tend to raise their arms to defend a dog’s attack.
Male White Kids are the Most Common Dog Bite Sufferers
If you narrow down the demographics of these sufferers, you would observe specific characteristics. More than 52% of victims were male – and more than 71% of dog bite victims were Caucasian, out of which, the age group with the highest number of dog bites was of boys below the age of 10 years.
This too is not surprising. Reason being, children usually are less aware of a dog’s behavior. They may unknowingly provoke a pet to retaliate without realizing they are not treating them well and ignoring the animal’s warning to pull back.
Dog Attacks on Kids
Unfortunately, kids below 10 years of age form the most susceptible age group to dog bites. What worsens the situation is the fact that animal attacks are generally more severe or fatal in children. In such cases, the victim’s parents have the legal right to file a dog bite injury claim against the pet owner. Even though the loss is immeasurable, this option allows families to recover fiscally after such a deleterious event.
Contact Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Clermont, Florida
If you or your family member has been injured due to a dog bite, you have the right to sue the pet owner. While Florida dog bite laws favor victims, they are complex. As a result, figuring out the degree of liability to be placed on a pet owner is complicated.
For this reason, you need an experienced injury lawyer on your side to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve for your physical harm and suffering.
Contact MANGAL, PLLC to discuss your case with an experienced dog bite injury attorney in Clermont, Florida.
Book your Free Initial Consultation today!