Do I Need a Lawyer for a Dog Bite in Florida?
If a dog bites you in Florida and causes injury, you may be unsure how to legally address the situation. Dogs are usually friendly and owners often know how to control their pets, but this isn’t always the case. Even when a dog doesn’t have a history of being violent, they can be triggered and attack without warning.
Florida has dog bite laws in place to protect victims of dog bite attacks. If you’ve been injured by a dog, you can seek compensation for any damages you’ve suffered by holding the dog owner liable. At Lopez & Humphries, PA, we have lawyers who are experienced in handling dog bite cases. A Lakeland dog bite lawyer from our team can give you guidance and support as you file your claim.
Knowing Florida’s Dog Bite Liability Law
The first step when filing a dog bite lawsuit is to understand Florida’s dog bite liability law. Although some states have a one-bite rule that releases dog owners from liability if their dog has never been dangerous in the past, Florida is different.
Florida holds dog owners strictly liable for any damage their dog inflicts from a bite, as long as the dog bite attack occurred on public property or occurred legally on private property. Florida provides no leniency for dog owners, regardless of whether the dog was previously violent or whether the dog owner had knowledge of the dog’s potential to be violent.
When Comparative Negligence Law May Come Into Play
Although Florida has a strict liability law regarding dog owners and dog bite attacks, Florida also exercises a comparative negligence law when assessing dog bite lawsuits in court. If you, as the dog bite victim, shared fault in the dog bite attack, then your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if a dog bit you on public property but you reached your hand out to pet the dog without asking permission from the dog’s owner, then you may be partially at fault for the attack.
How a Lawyer Can Maximize Your Settlement in Court
Speaking to a dog bite lawyer in Lakeland can increase your chances of receiving the maximum settlement in court. Your lawyer can help you assess the damages you’ve suffered because of your dog bite injury and recover compensation for these damages.
Your economic damages may include your medical expenses and wages you’ve lost from missing work. Your non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, and emotional distress.
Contact a Lakeland Dog Bite Attorney
Being bitten by a dog may seem like a minor event but it can leave lasting physical and emotional scars. The dog owner should be held accountable for their dog’s behavior. If you’re ready to seek justice for what you’ve been through, speak with an experienced attorney.