Animal attacks can cause major lasting injuries. In Florida, the owner of a dog can be held responsible for the injuries their pet causes regardless of whether they knew of their pet’s propensity to bite. In addition to physical injuries, the emotional distress that often stems from dog bites may cause a lifelong phobia and anxiety. However, know that there are legal options for individuals who have suffered from animal attacks in Trinity.
An experienced Trinity dog bite lawyer could assist you in the filing of a personal injury lawsuit by providing legal counsel and guiding you through the steps necessary to determine your eligibility for compensation. Become acquainted with the following information to learn more about how a professional injury attorney can make a difference in your case today.
Dog Ownership in Florida
Under Section 767.04 of the Florida Code, a dog owner is responsible for the damages caused by their pet, including those suffered by someone specifically invited onto the property. Dog owners in Trinity are subject to strict liability, meaning that the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness is irrelevant in determining liability. The injured individual must prove that they were bitten by a dog that was or still is owned by the defendant. Additionally, the injured party must establish that they had a right to be on the property at the time the dog bite occurred. Know that a dog owner is not liable for injuries received by a burglar or someone with no right to be on their property.
Bad Dog Exception
Unless the injured party is under the age of six, a dog’s owner can reduce liability in a dog bite case by prominently displaying a sign with the text bad dog written on it according to Section 767.04 of the Florida Code. This is known as the Bad Dog Exception, allowing an owner to void their liability for animal attacks on their property. However, an owner’s negligence or unreasonable actions in a dog bite case can create liability even if a sign is posted. Examples of negligence that could be relevant in such a case include failing to keep a dog from jumping on an invited elderly guest or letting the animal run free while a postal worker is delivering mail. Contact a qualified Trinity injury attorney to learn more.
In addition to strict liability, Florida follows a comparative negligence standard in animal attack cases. As such, when the injured plaintiff’s actions are the proximate cause of a dog bite, the dog owner’s legal culpability may be reduced. In other words, if the plaintiff is partially or completely at fault for causing the incident, it could negatively impact their ability to recover damages. Damage awards are financial awards designed to compensate injured individuals for the losses they sustained at the hands of a negligent party. Under the comparative negligence standard, any award is limited to the percentage of fault that is attributable to the dog’s owner.
Reaching Out to a Skilled Trinity Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries from a dog due to the owner’s negligence, reach out to a dedicated Trinity dog bite lawyer who can represent you in court. A qualified Trinity dog bite lawyer can gather evidence, interview key witnesses, and offer you legal counsel accumulated through years of dedicated practice. Schedule your initial consultation today to learn more about how a seasoned Trinity dog bite lawyer can offer you their assistance today.