Florida Dog Bite Lawyers
Advocating for Florida Dog Attack Victims
Dogs can be a man’s best friend, but unfortunately, some dogs have aggression and/or behavioral issues that pose a risk to humans. If you have been injured in a dog attack or bitten by a dog, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from the dog owner and their insurance company.
Backed by almost a century and a half of collective experience, Michles & Booth has guided dog bite victims down the path to justice time and again, helping them overcome any legal barriers that may arise along the way. Don’t wait to get started on your claim. The sooner you begin, the better chance you have at reaching a favorable resolution. Our dog bite attorneys will fight tooth and nail for your rights.
Call Michles & Booth at (800) 848-6168 today to discuss your dog bite claim. Our Florida attorneys can also be reached through an online contact form.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite?
Typically, a dog bite lawsuit is brought against the dog owner because they have a responsibility to ensure that their dog does not pose a risk to other people or cause damage to another’s property.
To win your claim, you will need to prove that the owner is guilty of one or more of the following:
- Negligence: Dog owners owe a duty of care to others around their dog, and when they do not fulfill their duty by failing to prevent their dog from harming others, they may be considered negligent and held liable for any harm done.
- Negligence per se: This is slightly different from the negligence defined above, as it is concerned with negligence in regards to the law.
- Intentional tort: This refers to any harm that the dog owner committed intentionally, such as if they sicked their dog on someone.
On the other hand, if the victim provoked the dog to attack them or did not heed the warnings of the owner or any warning signs present on the owner’s property, the victim may be held partially liable for their injury. This does not mean that they cannot file a claim, but rather that their compensation will be reduced with their percentage of fault in mind.
Other circumstances that could reduce or eliminate a dog owner’s share of liability include the following:
- If the victim actively provoked the dog leading up to the attack;
- If the victim was attacked while trespassing; and/or
- If the victim posed a threat to the owner, and the dog was only trying to protect their owner from danger.
Is Florida a One-Bite State?
Some states have adopted one-bite rules, which grant the dog owner a little bit of leniency if their dog, who did not show any signs of aggression before, bites a person for the first time. However, Florida is not a one-bite state; it is a strict liability state. This means that the owner of the dog who attacked you can be held liable for any damages, regardless of whether this is the dog’s first offense.
Are There Time Limits for Pursuing a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
All legal claims are subject to a statute of limitations, meaning they must be filed within a certain time frame to be considered valid. For dog bite lawsuits, the Florida statute of limitations will not consider a claim to be eligible for review if filed more than 4 years after the date of the dog attack or bite.
It is recommended to contact a dog bite lawyer as soon after your injury/the incident as possible. That way, you will not have to submit a rushed or incomplete claim or, worse, accidentally miss the statute of limitations altogether.
What Will Happen to the Dog if I Sue?
If the dog has a history of injuring people, they may be put down per the state’s “dangerous dog statute.” In some cases, instead of being put down, the dog may be subject to restrictions, such as not being able to leave the owner’s property — not even for a walk. If they are allowed to be taken off the premises, the dog is often required to wear a muzzle, harness, and leash.
What Does Florida Law Consider a Dangerous Dog?
In Florida, a dangerous dog includes any canine that has:
- Seriously or fatally injured another animal on more than one occasion;
- Aggressively chased or approached a person without any provocation; or
- Aggressively attacked, severely injured, and/or bitten a person.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you are pursuing a dog bite claim, our lawyers can be of assistance. The very nature of dog bite lawsuits tend to render them complex. Michles & Booth can help you determine and prove liability to give you a strong chance at recovering the compensation to which you are entitled and to find the closure you need to move forward.
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