Although some states allow one bite before dog owners must take liability for their previously unaggressive dogs, the state of Florida holds dog owners fully liable for any injuries their dogs inflict on another person, regardless of whether it was the first occurrence.
Dogs can bite, but they also have the potential to cause more severe injuries, and the law takes these injuries just as seriously. If a dog has injured you, a Lakeland personal injury lawyer from Lopez & Humphries, PA can assist you in gathering evidence to hold the dog owner accountable. Hopefully, we can maximize your settlement so you can recover quickly and return to normal life as soon as possible.
Dog Owner Liability for Dog-Related Injuries
Dog owners are liable for any dog-related injuries that occur, whether these injuries are from a dog bite, a dog scratch, or the weight of the dog’s body. Bone fractures, facial punctures, cuts, bruises, scarring, and disfigurement can all occur from a dog attack.
It’s important to note that dog owners are liable for dog attacks that happen on their own private property, as well. As long as you weren’t trespassing when the dog injury occurred, you should be able to prove negligence.
Comparative Fault in Dog Attacks
Florida has a comparative fault law for dog attacks because there are many circumstances in which the dog owner and the injured victim can share a percentage of fault. If a dog has injured you in a dog attack and you shared a percentage of fault, you can still sue the dog owner for their percentage of liability. However, the court will subtract your percentage of liability from your overall claim value.
For example, if you’re found to be 20 percent at fault for causing the dog attack and your settlement is $40,000, you’ll ultimately receive $32,000.
Recoverable Damages in Your Dog Bite Claim
Once you can successfully prove negligence against the dog owner, you must calculate your claim value by assessing all the damage you’ve experienced. The severity of the attack and the injuries you’ve suffered will ultimately determine how much money you’ll receive.
Your personal injury lawyer in Lakeland will include both economic and non-economic damages in your claim. Economic damages account for any financial losses you’ve experienced, and non-economic damages account for how the attack has affected your lifestyle.
Economic damages include lost wages from being out of work, property damage, and medical expenses. Non-economic include things such as your pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring and disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
Contact a Lakeland Personal Injury Attorney
Getting injured by a dog can lead to significant physical and emotional trauma. It’s important to hold the dog owner accountable for their negligence and to prevent further attacks from occurring. If you’re ready to discuss your case with a Lakeland personal injury lawyer from Lopez & Humphries, PA, fill out the contact form below or call (863) 774-3573 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.