Being attacked by someone else’s dog is an immensely traumatizing experience even if you are fortunate enough to avoid suffering any serious injuries. Unfortunately, bites from dogs of any size often cause long-lasting and even life-altering physical harm, which in turn can lead to various financial and personal losses that can be difficult to overcome on your own.
Fortunately, Florida state law is fairly generous in terms of the rights it gives dog bite victims to hold an owner financially responsible for injuries their pet caused, as a personal injury attorney could explain. When you need assistance pursuing this sort of claim and want to maximize the compensation you receive, you should enlist the help of a Largo dog bite lawyer at Distasio Law Firm.
Holding a Largo Dog Owner Liable for Bite Injuries
Florida state law holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries their dog causes another person by biting them without provocation, meaning there is no need for you to establish “negligence” by a dog owner before you can recover compensation from them for bite injuries. More specifically, Florida Statutes § 767.04 holds dog owners liable to pay for all damages that result from an injury their dog causes through a bite, provided the bitten person was in a public place or lawfully in a private one at the time of the incident.
Notably, Florida does not have a “one bite rule” like many other states do, so a dog owner being unaware that their dog has any violent or aggressive tendencies is not a defense against liability for a dog bite injury. However, dog owners may be able to avoid strict liability for your injuries if they can prove that:
- You were trespassing at the time of the bite
- You were provoking or threatening their dog before it bit you
- They posted a “Bad Dog” sign in a prominent place on their property, in cases involving plaintiffs older than six years old
Furthermore, dog owners are not strictly liable for harm their pets cause through means other than a bite—for instance, by jumping on you and knocking you over. That said, a skilled Largo dog attack attorney, such as Scott Distasio, can help build a case based on traditional negligence under circumstances like this, if there is evidence showing that the defendant dog owner was reckless or careless in how they restrained and cared for their pet.
Recovering Fairly Inside Filing Deadlines
A comprehensive dog bite claim should account for both economic and non-economic repercussions of the bite in question, including both past and future losses, like:
- Emergency medical bills and expected costs of future medical treatment
- Lost work income and/or working ability
- Personal property damage
- Physical pain and discomfort from injuries
- Emotional anguish and psychological trauma from the incident as a whole
- Lost enjoyment/quality of life
As a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer in Largo can affirm, though, Fla. Stat. § 95.11(3) allows most prospective plaintiffs a maximum of two years after initially suffering physical harm to begin any civil litigation they ever intend to pursue over that injury.
Talk to a Largo Dog Bite Attorney Today
While dog bite injuries can be simpler in some ways to file a civil lawsuit over than injuries occurring under other circumstances, that does not mean these cases are easy by any means. Trying to move forward with this sort of claim without dedicated legal counsel on your side will likely end with you not getting reimbursed for the full value of all your compensable losses, and possibly with you not getting any money at all.