Most of the time a dog bite, while painful, may not result in major injuries. However, there are instances in which a simple dog bite can lead to infection, disease, and when the dog has bitten ferociously enough, even broken bones.
When major injuries such as this are present after a dog bite, victims may be able to seek compensation through a Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer. A Ft Lauderdale dog bite attorney can build a claim to help an individual successfully recover compensation for any damages incurred as a result of the bite.
Dog Bite Statute
Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that in most cases, the owner of the dog will be responsible should the dog bite another person.
Florida is not a one-bite rule state, meaning that the dog’s past history of violence and aggression, or lack of it, will not be taken into account when the case is heard by the court.
Strict liability law on dog bites will be upheld if the dog bite happened in a public place, such as a park, or on the owner’s private property if the injured party had permission, implied or otherwise, to be there. Under strict liability law, dog owners are always responsible for the actions of their dog. This can be best explained by a Fort Lauderdale dog bite lawyer.
Role of Negligence
Negligence is a factor that will come up in just about every dog bite case. Negligence on the part of the dog owner, as well as that of the injured party, will both be examined.
If the owner of the dog does not act with reasonable care and try to protect their dog and the people around it, the owner may be found negligent. Allowing a dog that is known to be aggressive around a newborn baby could be considered a negligent act on the part of the dog owner. Negligence can be argued by a knowledgeable dog bite lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
However, in Fort Lauderdale, the dog owner may also be considered to be ‘negligent per se.’ Under this negligence law, the dog owner may have broken certain regulations or statutes that helped contribute to the injury. An example of this would be if the dog was let off of their leash in a ‘leash only’ area. Broward County, which encompasses Ft. Lauderdale, strictly prohibits dogs at large, meaning animals need to be kept leashed at all times.
In most dog bite cases, negligence on the part of the dog owner will be considered, but the defense may also try to prove that the injured party was also negligent.
When a dog has been provoked into biting an individual, such as when that person is taunting them or touching them in an aggressive manner, the injured party may be found negligent. When this happens, the injured party may or may not be entitled to compensation for the bite.
Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the courts will take into consideration any negligence the injured party may have shown. If negligence is found, the courts will give it a percentage and deduct that amount from the total compensation that may have been awarded.
Proving negligence, or lack thereof can be difficult in Florida dog bite cases. Because of this, injured parties should always seek the help of a dog bite lawyer in Ft Lauderdale.
‘Bad Dog’ Signs
When dog owners place a sign on their property stating that a “bad dog” resides there, this is considered enough warning for those entering the property. A sign telling people to ‘beware of dog’ is also considered to be a suitable warning.
In cases when the person bitten by a dog is under six years of age, having a sign posted is not a reasonable defense for dog owners.
This is because the courts assume that children that young will not be able to read the sign. In fact, anytime a young child is bitten by a dog, the courts will often find the dog owner to be negligent, which can be used as a defense strategy by a Fort Lauderdale dog bite attorney.
Contacting a Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite cases can seem very straightforward at first, but they can quickly become complicated due to the many different laws Florida has surrounding them. An injury attorney can work on your behalf.
If you have been injured due to a dog bite, contact a Ft Lauderdale dog bite lawyer today that can review your case.