Injuries from a Dog Bite in Florida: Holding the Dog Owner Accountable with a Lawsuit
A dog bite can be a traumatic and painful experience, especially if it results in serious injuries. In Florida, dog owners have a legal responsibility to control their pets and prevent them from causing harm to others. If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florida, you may have the right to seek compensation from the dog owner through a lawsuit. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of injuries that can result from a dog bite, Florida’s dog bite laws, and how a dog bite lawyer can help you hold the dog owner accountable.
Types of Injuries from a Dog Bite
A dog bite can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor scratches and bruises to more severe wounds that require medical attention. Some of the most common injuries that can result from a dog bite include:
- Puncture wounds
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Fractures and broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Infections, such as rabies or tetanus
In addition to physical injuries, a dog bite can also cause emotional trauma, including anxiety, fear, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Florida’s Dog Bite Laws
In Florida dog bites are controlled by Florida statute 767.04. The statute makes dog owners strictly liable for any injuries their pets cause to other people, regardless of whether the owner knew the dog had a propensity to bite. This means that if a dog bites someone in Florida, the owner is responsible for any damages the victim incurs, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
There are a few exceptions to Florida’s strict liability rule, including:
- Trespassing: If the victim was unlawfully on the dog owner’s property, the owner may not be liable for damages.
- Provocation: If the victim provoked the dog to attack, the owner may not be liable for damages.
- If the dog bite occurred on the owners property and the owner had a displayed a readable sign that included the words “Bad Dog” in a prominent place
Holding the Dog Owner Accountable with a Lawsuit
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florida, it’s important to take certain steps to protect your legal rights and maximize your chances of receiving compensation. These steps include:
- Seek medical attention immediately: Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s important to get checked out by a healthcare professional to ensure that you don’t have any underlying injuries or infections.
- Report the incident to local authorities: Contact your local animal control agency or police department to report the dog bite. This can help document the incident and ensure that the dog is properly quarantined and tested for diseases.
- Gather evidence: Take photos of your injuries, the location of the incident, and any other relevant evidence. This can help support your claim for damages.
- Contact a personal injury attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue a lawsuit against the dog owner if necessary.
By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of holding the dog owner accountable for your injuries and receiving the compensation you deserve.
What Can You Sue For?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florida, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Here are some of the things you can sue for in a dog bite case:
- Medical Expenses: If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you’ll likely have medical bills to pay. You can sue for the cost of your medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgery, medication, and therapy.
- Lost Wages: If you missed work due to your injuries, you can sue for lost wages. This includes any wages you lost while recovering from your injuries, as well as any future earnings you’ll miss because of your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering: Dog bites can be painful and traumatic. You can sue for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the attack.
- Scarring and Disfigurement: If you were left with scars or other disfigurements from the dog bite, you can sue for compensation for any resulting physical or emotional distress.
- Property Damage: If the dog damaged your property, such as your clothing or personal belongings, you can sue for the cost of repair or replacement.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, you may be able to sue for punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the dog owner for their negligence or willful misconduct and deter others from similar behavior.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Florida, you have legal rights and options for seeking compensation from the dog owner. By understanding Florida’s dog bite laws and working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you can hold the dog owner accountable for their negligence and receive the financial support you need to recover from your injuries. Contact Distasio Law Firm, dog bite attorney, today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.