Dog bites can result in very serious injuries to adults and children alike. If you or someone you love has sustained injuries as a result of a serious dog bite that occurred in the State of Florida, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under the law. Speak with a distinguished personal injury attorney about how to begin your case. Florida law provides several bases of recovery for dog bite victims, including statutory strict liability, negligence, negligence per se, and intentional torts. A skilled New Port Richey dog bite lawyer can review and evaluate your case with you and can potentially help you to obtain the monetary compensation you need and deserve.
Strict Liability Standard for Dog Owners
Florida, like most states in the country, utilizes a legal standard known as statutory strict liability when it comes to dog bite cases. Dog owners may be held strictly liable when their dog bites a person and causes an injury. Under the statutory strict liability standard, a dog owner may still be deemed liable for the dog’s bite injuries, even if the dog has no prior history of biting people or exhibiting other types of vicious or aggressive behavior and even without regard to knowledge or fault on the part of the dog owner.
However, any negligence on the part of the dog bite victim can potentially reduce the dog owner’s liability, based upon the victim’s percentage of fault. These strict liability rules generally do not apply to trespassers, police or military dogs performing their duties, or damages to property caused by a vicious dog.
In addition to statutory strict liability, a dog owner may also (or alternatively) be liable to a dog bite victim if the dog owner did something that a reasonable dog owner would not have done or failed to do something that a reasonable dog owner would have done proximately resulting in the dog bite and the victim’s subsequent injuries. A New Port Richey dog bite attorney can help provide more on if someone would be liable for injuries.
Negligence Per Se
Under Florida law, a dog owner is presumed to have acted in a negligent manner if the dog owner violates a law or statute on the books. Therefore, if a dog owner violates an animal control law, such as by walking a dog without a leash or letting the dog roam around the neighborhood ‘at large,’ the dog owner may be presumed negligent when the dog later bites someone and causes that person injuries.
Intentional torts usually arise in cases where a dog owner provokes or incites the dog to bite a person. When that happens, the dog bite victim may be entitled to monetary compensation for injuries and damages sustained. Dog bites can result in very serious and potentially catastrophic injuries and damages. When those injuries occur, dog bite victims may be able to pursue monetary compensation for medical bills, corrective surgeries (i.e. in cases involving scarring and other permanent injuries and damages), lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. If you have sustained injuries as a result of a dog bite, you should contact a knowledgeable New Port Richey dog bite lawyer to assist you with your case.