Many people find comfort, friendship, and security in dogs. However, those who choose to own a dog bear the responsibility of ensuring that dog does not harm anyone. Untrained or improperly leashed dogs may bite people, causing injuries such as puncture wounds, broken bones, and infections.
Okeechobee County holds dog owners responsible in almost all circumstances when the dog causes injury. When someone’s dog causes injury to another individual, then the owner of the dog retains responsibility and could be civilly liable.
While dog bites can be frightening, an Okeechobee County dog bite lawyer could help hold negligent owners responsible for the harm their dog caused. In the event a dog attacks and injures you, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo could help you identify instances of negligence, seek out potential defendants, and work towards a positive resolution to your case.
Florida has detailed statutes relating to animal attacks, and many areas of the state have specific local regulations for registering, leashing, and maintaining dogs as pets. Florida Statutes §767.04 states that dogs owners are liable for damage resulting from the dog biting someone regardless of whether the dog previously bit someone before.
In court, dog owners may attempt to avoid or limit their liability by arguing that the individual bitten was partially responsible for the attack. If the jury finds the plaintiff did play a role in causing their own injuries, they may order the owner to pay only a percentage of the demanded damages. An Okeechobee County dog bite lawyer could assist with defending against unfounded claims of shared fault and fight for fair compensation.
Finally, all cases must satisfy Florida’s statute of limitations. According to Florida Statutes §95.11, all claims alleging personal injury, including dog bites, must be filed in court within four years of the date of the bite. Anyone who fails to file within this deadline could be barred from seeking compensation.
The defendant is easy to identify in most injury cases. For example, if a dog being walked on a leash in a public place attacks and bites someone, the dog’s owner—and therefore, the liable party—is clear. However, not all dog bite cases are this straightforward.
For example, if an incident occurred on private property not owned by the dog’s owner, such as an apartment complex, it may be more difficult to determine the dog’s owner. Furthermore, if an apartment’s owner or manager was aware that a dangerous dog lived within the building but did nothing to ensure the dog did not attack people, the apartment owner could be held liable as well.
As evidenced by this example, multiple parties may share liability in certain cases. For these reasons, consulting legal counsel may be key to a successful outcome in such a situation. By thoroughly examining a case, a dog bite lawyer in Okeechobee County may be able to identify all potential defendants and negligent parties.
Since Okeechobee County law holds dog owners liable for the majority of attacks, most dog bite cases may seem straightforward. However, the law also allows dog owners to attempt to shift liability or dismiss a claim altogether.
Dog attacks can lead to a variety of injuries, such as broken bones and infections. For this and many other reasons, it may be beneficial for you to allow a dedicated Okeechobee County dog bite lawyer to examine your case from every angle and gather relevant evidence, including documentation of injuries. The Kogan & DiSalvo legal team could help with documenting and filing an effective complaint, so reach out today to schedule a free consultation and begin building your claim.