If you are the victim of a dog bite, you might feel that your injuries go beyond the bite wounds themselves. You may have many medical bills and lost wages from not being able to work. Dog bite victims can also experience emotional trauma and ongoing fear and anxiety, especially around dogs. There are several legal tools available to a dog bite victim in their case against the dog’s owner. A competent Tarpon Springs dog bite lawyer will use all tools available to pursue financial and legal justice in every dog bite case. If you have been bitten by a dog, let a skilled personal injury attorney fight for you.
Florida Dog Bite Laws
Florida has in-depth laws pertaining to dangerous dogs and the damage caused by dogs. The legal statute setting out the state’s rules and relevant definitions is Title XLV, Chapter 767, “Damage by Dogs; Dangerous Dogs.” Whether or not a dog has been vicious in the past, its owner can be held liable for any injury the dog causes during a bite. An exception to this rule is if the bite occurs while the injured person is not lawfully permitted on the premises.
For example, an owner will not be held liable if their dog bites someone who is trespassing on the owner’s property. Another exception, which is referred to as the “bad dog” exception, may protect the dog’s owner from liability in some cases. According to § 767.04, if the victim is bitten while on the owner’s premises legally, the owner may not be liable if the premises contained a prominent sign with the words “Bad Dog.”
Although the dog’s owner is generally responsible for dog bite injuries, any negligence on the part of the victim will be taken into account and, where applicable, the financial reward may be proportionately diminished. An example of this is when the person bitten is attacked, in part, due to teasing or taunting the dog. If the court determines the plaintiff’s damages to be $1,000 and finds the plaintiff to be 20 percent at fault due to their own negligence, the defendant will be ordered to pay the plaintiff $800 rather than $1,000.
If the dog has previously been officially classified as a “dangerous dog,” the owner has a legal responsibility to confine the dog at all times and warn others at all entry points to the premises. If the owner removes the dog from confinement, the dog must be muzzled and leashed. If a “dangerous dog” bites someone, the penalties and financial liability can be severe.
As one can readily see, the laws regarding dog bites can be complicated, so it is best to contact a Tarpon Springs dog bite lawyer to help make sense of them.
Calling a Tarpon Springs Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bite cases can be complex. The applicable laws have several exceptions, and there are many cases concerning dog bites that serve as legal precedent to guide each new case.
A dog bite lawyer in Tarpon Springs will be with you through every step, listening to the unique circumstances of your case and aggressively fighting for justice. If you would like to know how a Tarpon Springs dog bite lawyer can help, get in touch today.