Damages can often be claimed when a dog attacks a person, often terrorizing the victim and causing serious injuries and disfigurement in severe cases. Even if a dog bites once, suddenly and unexpectedly, the bite could frighten and inflict a serious wound.
If you or a family member have been bitten by a dog, you should contact a Stuart dog bite lawyer experienced in handling these cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Stuart can begin the legal process of recovering medical and other related expenses.
If the bite victim is younger than six years old, the dog owner is liable because of the victim’s age. The dog owner is not liable if they did not act negligently and had prominently placed an easily readable sign that included “bad dog” or similar words at the time of the bite, which establishes an assumption of risk.
Determining legal responsibility for dog bites in Florida can be approached in one of two ways, each of which can be explained by a dog bite attorney in Stuart.
Florida’s dog bite law uses the “strict liability” standard. This means that the dog owner is liable for the injury even if the owner did nothing wrong or careless. The dog can be on a leash, behind a fence or limited by other precautions at the time and the owner is still liable.
It does not matter if the attack happens in a public place, on public property, or the dog’s own yard, or even if the owner did not know the dog was vicious.
A claimant can choose to use the comparative negligence standard. To prove a claim using this method, the bite victim must prove the dog owner had a duty of care not to cause harm to another, that the owner breached that duty, the breach caused the bite, and the victim sustained injury.
If the injured party played a role in causing the dog to bite, damages claimed would be reduced by the percentage of fault determined. The process associated with the comparative negligence standard can be laid out by an experienced Stuart dog bite attorney.
Florida law allows a dog to be declared dangerous if it has severely injured a person, but to do so requires an investigation by an animal control authority and an initial determination.
Pending the results of the investigation, the dog may be confiscated, impounded, and if necessary, quarantined all at the dog owner’s expense.
If the dog is not impounded, the owner is required the confine the dog safely in a secure, fenced, or enclosed area. If the dog is found to be dangerous, it may be put down.
However, the dog cannot be deemed legally dangerous if it bites a person who is trespassing on the property or if the person was lawfully on the property, but was “tormenting, abusing, or assaulting” the dog, its owner, or a family member. These are defenses for any dog bite case, as can be explained by a dog bite attorney in Stuart.
If a dog has bitten you or a family member, it is necessary that you seek prompt legal advice to learn the strength of your case and to claim damages before the statute of limitations expires. This is quickly accomplished by calling a Stuart dog bite lawyer and scheduling a free and confidential consultation.
These cases may have several circumstances in play, but the dog bite attorney in Stuart can advise you on the best strategy for your claim, conduct an independent investigation of the incident, produce a demand letter claiming damages, and aggressively represent you throughout the case.
As many civil cases are settled rather than going to court, your Stuart dog bite lawyer can negotiate with the insurance carrier to attain the compensation for your medical expenses and other expenses relating to the injury.
If you are injured and unable to come to us,
our attorney will come to you - there is no charge for us to do so.