Floridians who are bitten or mauled by a dog may sue the dog’s owner and others who had control of the dog to collect financial damages, under most circumstances. If that happens, it is in the best interests of the person bitten to seek legal counsel.
Broward County dog bite lawyer offers a free consultation to review the circumstances of the biting incident and determine if a lawsuit to recover damages can win in court. An experienced personal injury attorney provides that service without any obligation to be hired.
Florida’s dog bite law holds dog owners liable for any bite using one of two legal doctrines: negligence committed by the dog owner or controller by doing something wrongful; or strict liability, meaning the dog owner or controller is negligent even without doing anything wrong.
The law specifies the dog’s owner or controller is liable if it bites a child six years old or younger. A Broward County dog bite lawyer can evaluate a bitten person’s situation to see which doctrine may apply. If a dog mauls a person or causes serious injury, it may be destroyed, pending an investigation of the incident by animal control authorities. The dog may also be confined for life at the owner’s expense.
In law, negligence is defined as a person committing an act that a reasonable and prudent person would not have committed in the same circumstance. An omission can also be an act of negligence.
To prove negligence requires that the person had a duty of care toward another person, that the duty was breached by some act or omission which caused the dog to bite, causing injury and actual monetary loss.
If the bitten person had done something that made the dog attack, that person cannot claim all of the damages under Florida’s comparative negligence doctrine. Broward County dog bite lawyers know that damages are limited by the percent of fault the bitten person bears.
The injured person under Florida law may sue to recover medical costs, lost income from taking time from work, property damage if any damage is done, and for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional trauma.
Punitive damages, which can be substantial, are allowed if the dog’s owner or the person who had charge of the dog was grossly negligent in allowing the dog to bite while on private or public property.
The dog owner is not held liable for a dog bite if:
Scienter doctrine in Florida holds that the dog bite victim may sue not only the dog’s owner but also anyone who harbored or kept the dog.
The bitten person only has to provide evidence of the bite itself and does not need to prove the dog owner is negligent to prove strict liability. To prepare and litigate the case, the Broward County dog bite lawyer is paid from the damages the attorney recovers from a jury or the court. Contact an attorney immediately to get started.